Every year, the U.S. death rate surges beginning on Thanksgiving and remains at high levels through the winter months. Factors that affect an increase in deaths over the winter include an increase in car crashes, cases of the flu and heart attacks.
The two factors that cause a surge in death rates on Thanksgiving are car accidents and heart attacks.
Thanksgiving car accidents
Many people travel to visit family for Thanksgiving and most drive to get there. This means a dramatic increase in traffic on the roads right as weather conditions turn cold and possibly icy or snowy. As a result, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System consistently shows that the Thanksgiving holiday leads to more deadly car accidents than any other holiday. In 2012, for example, there were 764 crashes (about 400 involving motorists) that caused a fatality during Thanksgiving compared to 654 crashes causing a fatality during Christmas that year.
Sadly, many of these car accidents are preventable. The NHTSA reveals that of the fatalities that happened on Thanksgiving 2012, at least 40 percent of the passengers killed were in a crash with a drunk driver and 60 percent of the passengers were not wearing seat belts.
NHTSA Thanksgiving driving safety tips:
- Well-functioning windshield wipers
- Properly inflated tires with ample tread
- Ensure that every passenger is wearing their seat belt
- Follow the speed limit or drive under the speed limit if there is heavy rain, standing water, snow or ice on the roads
- Leave plenty of time to get to your destination
- Plan your travel route around traffic, road and weather conditions
- Never drive drunk
Thanksgiving heart attacks
Every year doctors see a rise in heart attacks over the winter beginning around Thanksgiving day. A study of Los Angeles death certificates collected in the 1980s and 1990s found a 33 percent rise in deaths related to coronary disease in the winter months compared to the summer, beginning around Thanksgiving.
Doctors have come up with a list of behaviors that could be contributing to the rise in heart attack deaths around the holidays:
- Eating richer, saltier foods
- Eating more calories
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Emotional and psychological stresses surrounding the holidays
- A change in routine or forgetting heart pills when visiting family
- Playing in the annual family football game when out of shape
If you are injured in a Thanksgiving car accident contact a car accident lawyer today.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the justice and compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!