NSC Safety Tips For Thanksgiving Weekend Travel

From the National Safety Council:

This Thanksgiving weekend, millions will hit our nation’s roads, eager to spend time with family and friends. It’s one of the busiest travel times of the year, and unfortunately more people on the roadways means the potential for more vehicle crashes.

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, which means more vehicles will be on the roads. Increased vehicle activity leads to the potential for more crashes and more fatalities. Failing to buckle up puts you and other vehicle passengers in a potentially deadly situation. It’s also against the law – plain and simple. There’s never an excuse to not wear your seat belt.

Not Buckling Up Can Be Deadly. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2015 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 30), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation, a decrease from the 341 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2014. Compared to Thanksgiving weekend in 2014, there was an 11-percentage-point decrease in the number of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2015, and an 8-percentage-point decrease in the number of those who were unbuckled when they were killed that weekend.

Nighttime is deadlier than daytime in terms of seat belt use. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving weekend, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 49 percent during the day. During all of 2015, a total of 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, and nearly half (44%) of them were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Among passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2015, the age groups of 13-15 and 18-34 had the highest percentages (57% and 58%, respectively) of occupants who were unbuckled at the time of their fatal crash.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, seat belts saved approximately 13,941 lives nationwide age 5 and older in 2015. If everyone had worn seat belts that year, an additional 2,804 lives could have been saved. Proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent. Ejection from a vehicle is one of the most dangerous events that can happen to a person in a crash. In fatal crashes in 2015, almost 8 out of 10 (80%) of the passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from vehicles were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejections; only 1 percent of the occupants reported to have been wearing their seat belts were totally ejected in a crash, compared to 30 percent who were unbuckled.

This Thanksgiving-and every day of the year-remember, Click It or Ticket. For more information, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.