Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.
By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer
For many of us Thanksgiving includes piling into a car and travelling to visit family and friends. In fact, Thanksgiving weekend is the year’s busiest travel weekend.
Whether you’re driving across the street or across the country to reach your Thanksgiving feast, you should always wear your seat belt.
With increased traffic brings the increased possibility of traffic crashes. That’s why we’re partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to share this important lifesaving reminder: Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.
During the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend*, 341 people died in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Tragically, 49 percent of those killed had not buckled up. Nighttime proved even more deadly, with 55 percent of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night.
Much like drunk driving, these deaths represent needless tragedies for families across America. The simple click of a seat belt could have prevented these fatalities. Research shows that wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest things you can do to stay safe when you’re traveling in a vehicle, especially during busy travel periods like Thanksgiving.
The NHTSA estimates that 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. In 2016, approximately 14,668 people survived crashes because they were buckled up. If everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved. NHTSA’s research also shows:
- Males are more likely to be unbuckled than females in fatal crashes. In 2016, 52 percent of males who died in crashes were not buckled up at the time of the crash, compared to 40 percent of females.
- Younger drivers are also at greater risk of being unbuckled. In fact, the 13- to 15-year-old and 18- to 34-year-old age groups had the highest percentages (62 percent and 59 percent, respectively) of occupants killed who were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash.
Seat belt use should be a no-brainer. We know that regular seat belt use vastly reduces fatalities. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful for the most basic vehicle technology that has – without a doubt – saved the most lives.
We all want to see our friends and family arrive safe and sound to the Thanksgiving table. So, remember to Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.
For additional tips to make your holiday road trip safer, visit our BeSafeOhio site.
*6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, to 5:59 a.m. Monday, Nov. 28