Most people expect that over a festive holiday weekend there are bound to be a few minor and even fatal car accidents. A large amount of drivers are on the road and some are traveling a long distance during the holiday weekend. In addition to the lengthy trips and busy roads, this weekend is also a time for celebration. This could mean drinking alcohol, which also causes much concern about drinking and driving.

The recent Thanksgiving weekend in Virginia was no exception, as Virginia State Police reported 11 fatalities over the weekend. Of these 11 deaths, four featured alcohol as an element in the fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Compared to last year’s 14 lives lost over the same period, this year’s numbers were down, but not enough for those who experienced the sudden loss of a loved one. A single traffic-related death can traumatize a family emotionally and devastate them financially. There might be medical expenses related to the person’s treatment before he or she passed away, and there are also funeral expenses to be dealt with as well.

The Virginia State Police report that, of this year’s crashes, two took place in Mecklenburg County while the rest were scattered among the following counties: Frederick, Carroll, Bedford, Chesterfield, Louisa, Henrico, Prince George and Hanover. Finally, an accident within the City of Norfolk resulted in a pedestrian death.

In order to help prevent these types of incidents, the VSP joined in the efforts of Operation CARE, or the Combined Accident Reduction Effort. Part of their participation involved ticketing nearly 10,000 speeders and citing over 2,600 reckless drivers. Both speed and other forms of recklessness can lead to a death of another driver, a passenger or a pedestrian.

While law enforcement helps prevent fatal accidents, other aspects of the law help victims’ families after the fact. Professional legal help can help a family move from shocked to proactive regarding holding those accountable for negligent or reckless actions.

Source: WBOC-16, “Traffic crashes claim 11 lives Thanksgiving in Virginia,” Corrina Pysa, Dec. 2, 2013