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New York State Police announce Thanksgiving safety crackdown

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the annual holiday season, and it is also one of the most dangerous periods of the year to venture out onto the roads. The New York State Police has announced that a major road safety initiative targeting distracted, reckless and impaired drivers will begin on Nov. 23 and continue through Nov. 27. The campaign will feature stepped-up DWI patrols and widespread sobriety checkpoints. Unmarked vehicles will also be deployed to identify drivers making cellphone calls or sending text messages while behind the wheel.

NYSP troopers issued 732 distracted driving citations and arrested 218 alleged drunk drivers over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, but this was not enough to prevent 19 people from losing their lives on the roads of New York. Alcohol consumption was a factor in most of these fatal crashes. In 2012, there were 654 fatal auto accidents and more than 50,000 nonfatal crashes on the nation's roads over Thanksgiving, and NHTSA data indicates that the vast majority of those killed would likely have lived if they had acted more responsibly.

According to the NHTSA, 60 percent of those killed in traffic accidents during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2012 were not wearing seat belts, and 40 percent of them lost their lives in a crash involving at least one drunk driver. Icy weather conditions and congested highways can make Thanksgiving driving even more dangerous, and holiday travelers are advised to plan their trips carefully, allow plenty of time for traffic delays and monitor weather and traffic reports as they make their way to their destinations.

Motor vehicle accidents that take place during holiday periods often leave families devastated, and survivors may face uncertain futures when breadwinners have been killed and bills begin to pile up. Experienced personal injury attorneys may initiate wrongful death litigation on behalf of the family members of those killed due to the negligent actions of others.

Source: New York State Police, New York State Police to crack down on drinking and driving during the Thanksgiving holiday, Major Joseph A. Tripodo, Nov. 21, 2016

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