The holiday season is fast approaching, and that means extremely heavy traffic into and out of Florida and the Treasure Coast area. The AAA or American Automobile Association estimates “42.5 million travelers will journey at least 50 miles from home” this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday beginning Wednesday, Nov. 23 and ending Sunday, Nov. 27. The Sun-Sentinel estimates 2.2 million Floridians will be among those taking trips.

This estimate is a 4% increase over last year’s Thanksgiving and the first holiday increase this year. AAA attributes this to the economy indicating that since Thanksgiving travel had been at a lower-than-average level since the recession-driven decline began in 2008, Americans with a “pent-up demand” who may have foregone holiday travel over the last several years are now taking to the road.

The NSC or National Safety Council estimates there will be from 368 to 509 traffic fatalities nationwide. This estimate is 19% less than last year’s 535 actual deaths. The NSC also estimates that there will between 36,800 and 50,900 serious injury accidents.

According to Florida’s 2010 Traffic Crash Statistics, 38 people died in traffic-related accidents during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday. Fifteen of those fatal accidents were alcohol-related. Over the last several years the number of deaths during this extended travel period has been declining. The year 2008 saw the highest number of deaths since 2006, at 52.

The NHTSA or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that the most effective way to reduce fatalities and protect people in motor vehicle crashes is with regular seat belt use. During this heavy travel period, transportation officials are encouraging safety belt use through the “Buckle Up America” campaign.

Florida’s seat belt law went into effect in 2009. The law makes it a primary offense if the driver or front seat passenger is not wearing a seat belt. In addition, anyone under the age of 17 must be in a proper safety restraint. Florida’s law enforcement will be out en masse enforcing seat belt safety and encouraging all drivers to “Click it or Ticket.”

Our Florida car accident attorneys wish everyone a warm Thanksgiving holiday. We also reiterate the importance of wearing safety restraints every time you get in a car. Seat belts are only effective when they are used. We urge everyone to drive safely, and sober, to ensure you get to your destination.

About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, product liability, dog bite injuries, swimming pool accidents, slip and fall injuries, medical malpractice, and wrongful death claims.

Our law firm represents victims of car accidents across South Florida, including Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Jupiter, Stuart, Okeechobee, Vero Beach and Palm Beach, and throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast. Call 1-800-299-8878 now to speak with a knowledgeable Florida car accident attorney or fill out our online contact form.