These will not be happy holidays for several Virginia families. Only a few days into the traditional holiday season, state roads and highways have already been the scenes of devastating accidents. While the number of lives lost in motor vehicle accidents is lower so far this year than in previous years, this statistic will bring small comfort to the families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones.

Officials say that during the five days of last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, 12 people lost their lives in traffic accidents. This year, seven fatalities were reported, and 178 travelers suffered injuries. Among the deceased were two teenagers. Virginia police caution that while the reduction in fatalities from previous years is positive news, it is nothing to celebrate if even one person dies in a preventable accident.

At least two of the fatal accidents over the Thanksgiving weekend involved alcohol. In addition to those two accidents, officers say they charged another 83 drivers for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Another 5,000 or more received tickets for speeding, and almost 1,800 were cited for reckless driving.

Speeding, reckless driving, distractions and alcohol are among the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents that result in senseless tragedies. The negligent actions of others can leave families with difficult burdens to bear, including the loss of loved ones, medical bills and funeral expenses. Many Virginia families seek legal guidance at times like these, and they learn about their options for seeking compensation for their suffering through the civil courts.

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