With Thanksgiving right around the corner, people will soon flock to the roads to visit and celebrate with family and friends. Fulton County Safe Communities reminds all travelers, whether they are heading across the country or just across town, to ensure a safe arrival and a happy holiday by buckling up – Ever Trip, Every Time.
In 2013, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone. It’s a sad statistic, but even sadder is that many of those deaths could have been prevented with one simple click of a seat belt.
“The risk of being involved in a serious or deadly car crash increases when the number of cars on the road increases, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” said Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller. “So we want to remind everyone that your seat belts can save your life – and those you are traveling with.”
Law enforcement has also noted a significant increase in drinking, particularly among underage youth around the holidays, specifically the Wednesday evening prior to Thanksgiving. Healthy Choices Caring Communities (HC3) will support local law enforcement, including Wauseon Police Department, Delta Police Department and the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, efforts to address this issue through the addition of multi agency task force party patrols throughout the holiday season.
“More than half the drivers and passengers being killed in crashes aren’t wearing seat belts. That’s a major problem,” said Miller.
In 2013, a total of 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, and almost half (49 percent) of those occupants were not buckled up. Thanksgiving weekend in 2013, 58 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. At night, the statistic was even worse: 64 percent of the occupants killed at night were unbuckled.
Younger drivers are the most likely to be unbuckled in a fatal crash. In 2013, among passenger vehicle occupant fatalities where restraint use was known, the age groups 21 to 24 and 25 to 34 had the highest percentage (55 percent) of occupants killed who were unrestrained.
“For those people who already buckle up every time: Thank you,” said Miller. “For them, this campaign serves as a reminder. But for those people who still don’t buckle up for whatever reason, I want to say this: buckling your seat belt is one of the simplest, safest things you’ll ever do.”
For more information about Fulton County Safe Communities contact Rachel Kinsman at 419-337-0915 or about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.