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Thanksgiving can be a deadly holiday for travel

When there are more drivers on the roadways there is an increase in the number of accidents. This is particularly important to keep in mind as the Thanksgiving holiday approach.

According to an analysis of federal data, from 2005 until 2010 there was an average of 798 fatal motor vehicle accidents during Thanksgiving week. This is an increase from the typical weekly average of 748. Looking to this year, AAA predicts there will also be an increase in the number of people traveling more than 50 miles to their Thanksgiving destination.

When looking at why there is an increased risk of accidents around the holidays, there are several factors that play a role. Drivers are often times navigating roads they've never been on and doing so while tired from eating a big dinner. Some drivers also make the deadly mistake of driving after drinking, which only increases the chance of getting into an accident.

Speeding also plays a role in many accidents, which points to the fact that many are driving faster trying to arrive on time. Speed, plus the chance of bad weather since it is November, often prove to be a deadly combination.

What this means for the average Tennessee driver is to take certain precautions before heading out for holiday travel. First thing, keep in mind that there will be more drivers out on the roads. Drivers should plan accordingly and give themselves extra time to deal with traffic and to not feel as rushed. This could reduce the likelihood of speed-related accidents.

Also remember that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving. This means it may be best to take a nap before hitting the road or even making overnight plans to avoid having to drive when tired.

Lastly, there is never a reason to drink and drive as it puts not only the driver -- but also all other motorists -- in harm's way.

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