Get to your Thanksgiving feast safe and sound

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



525,600 minutes: make them all count

By Glenn McGinley, Director,PERRP picture Ohio Public Employment Risk Reduction Program

It’s orange barrel season, but, summer isn’t the only time to think about sharing the road safely. Each year is made up of 525,600 minutes and each of those minutes count and require focus and attention when you are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

Whether you operate a motor vehicle or are working in a roadway right-of-way you face a real risk of serious injury or death. Statistics can be overwhelming but here are a few numbers that emphasize the magnitude of this hazard.

In 2014 there were 32,675 fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States. That means every 16 minutes someone died on a roadway. Ohio ranked eighth deadliest with 1006 of those fatalities—nearly  three highway fatalities every day.1

Nationally, 116 workers were in a fatal work zone accident in 2014 and six of those were Ohio workers that didn’t return home at the end of their work day.2   Each and every person that perished in those accidents was someone’s father, mother, son or daughter. Every second counts and every life matters.

That’s why  BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene is committed to reducing the risk of injury to workers  in work zones and in all workplaces across the state. Our multi-disciplinary teams help employers and employees recognize existing and predictable hazards in their workplaces and provides strategies and suggestions for improvements that will help protect workers.

The Ohio Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP) recently posted a PERRP Work Zone Safety Alert (PSA) to bring attention to the hazardous conditions employees face in work zones. The PSA provides information about training, work practices and controls that may be necessary to reduce the risk of serious injuries and fatal work zone related accidents.

PERRP provides compliance assistance services to government agencies and conducts occupational safety and health enforcement inspections for those agencies. To learn more about PERRP or to request information, visit our web site or send an email to For more information on work zone safety, visit


1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

2United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries