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Data shows more deaths on Thanksgiving than other holidays

There's a reason why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warns drivers to stay safe on the roads every Thanksgiving: this day may be the most deadly holiday of the year. Residents of California should also know that it's a fatal day for many with heart conditions.

According to data from the NHTSA's Fatality Analysis Reporting System, there were 764 crashes involving fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday in 2012. This was more than on Christmas of that year. There were also more than 50,000 non-fatal crashes over that long weekend.

Most of these accidents could have been avoided; for instance, 60 percent of victims failed to wear a seatbelt, and 40 percent were killed by drunk drivers. Since rushing can lead to negligent or reckless actions, the NHTSA recommends that drivers plan ahead, take weather and traffic into account, and give themselves plenty of time in case of delays. They should also check their tires and their windshield wipers regularly.

Heart attack rates also spike during Thanksgiving, and for similar reasons. People rush to see their families, forget to take their medications, and perhaps indulge in too much alcohol or salty foods. Others may overeat and immediately go outside to play football or engage in other strenuous activities. Again, many of these circumstances are preventable.

Speeding, drowsiness and distraction are frequent causes of car accidents. People who have been injured in one often require lengthy and expensive medical care, during which they are unable to earn a living. They might want to have legal assistance when seeking compensation for the losses that they have incurred.

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