More than 1 million motorists expected on North Carolina roads this Thanksgiving holiday

With more than 1.1 million North Carolina and nearly 575,000 South Carolina drivers planning to travel more than 50 miles from home this Thanksgiving, the Carolina car accident attorneys and staff at Lee & Smith would first like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday with family, friends and loved ones. We would then like to remind drivers and passengers that along with more traffic, so increases the risk of a Carolina car accident.

AAA Carolinas suggests that the “hassles” of flying – the ticket cost (plus a slew of add-on fees), the ever-shrinking seating accommodations, the $12 bag of peanuts, the personal-space invading TSA scanning requirements – have eroded the popularity of air travel. So much so that fewer than six percent of all Carolina travelers will require an airport to reach their destination.

Across the nation the AAA Foundation estimates that 42.2 million drivers will be traveling 50 miles or more and another 1.62 million will take to the skies. AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet said the 11.4 percent uptick in travel over 2008 numbers can be tied to a slightly improved economy along with “a strong desire to spend time with friends and family” on the part of travelers.

With that said, taking to the roads is not without its hassles and hazards. According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, from 2004 through 2008, there were more than 11,500 car accidents on North Carolina roads during the Thanksgiving holiday, (6 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through midnight the Sunday after). Of those, 5,861 people were injured and 106 were killed in serious or fatal car accidents.

The NCDOT announced this week that they will be suspending most major roadway construction projects to help diminish delays motorists already face given the increase in road traffic. They provide a handful of additional tips for motorists traveling across the Carolinas this holiday:

~ Give yourself extra time to reach your destination and try to plan at least a portion of your travel time for non-peak hours. Check road conditions prior to departure by dialing 511 or checking updates on the NCDOT website. Have a travel plan that includes rest breaks every two hours.

~ Be aware of driver fatigue and pay attention to the road and traffic conditions. Obey all traffic laws, particularly the speed limit. Speeding is the leading contributor to fatal North Carolina car accidents. NCDOT suggests you set your cruise control to avoid a ticket as well as reducing your fuel consumption.

~ Make sure both you and your vehicle are in good working condition before hitting the road. You should be sober, well-rested and have a plan. Your car should have plenty of fuel, a recent oil change, good tire pressure and be well maintained if you are planning on driving any distance.

Asheville car accident lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal car accident, or losing a loved one to a fatal car crash, can be among the most trying times in your life. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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