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Holiday Traffic Deaths Pass 440

November 30, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ Traffic accidents claimed 445 lives over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The death toll over the four-day period was led by 34 deaths in Florida and 20 in Michigan.

The National Safety Council said before the holiday the began that 450 travelers might die in traffic during the observance that began at 6 p.m. Wednesday and extended to midnight Sunday.

Council statisticians did not provide an estimate of how many deaths might be expected over a four-day non-holiday period this time of year, saying that methods for gathering and analyzing such data are not comparable.

The worst Thanksgiving weekend was in 1968, when 764 people died. Since the 55-mph speed limit was imposed in 1974, the worst year was 1978, when 508 deaths were reported.

The speed limit was increased to 65 mph this year on many rural sections of interstate highways.

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