Holiday weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 20, 2013) – With Thanksgiving right around the corner, people will soon flock to the roads to visit and celebrate with family and friends. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) reminds all travelers, whether they are heading across the country or across town, to ensure a safe arrival and a happy holiday by buckling up – “Every Trip, Every Time.”
“The risk of being involved in a serious or deadly car crash increases when the number of cars on the road increases,” Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock said. “The long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year.”
During the Thanksgiving period last year in Kentucky, seven people were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Four of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
There were 746 highway fatalities in Kentucky in 2012, with 576 killed in motor vehicles. More than half of those killed in motor vehicles were not restrained.
“Kentucky undoubtedly experiences far too many fatalities that could have been avoided with the simple use of a seat belt,” KOHS Director Bill Bell said. “Clearly this is an indication that people are not taking Kentucky’s seat belt law seriously or they are not aware of the huge risk taken by not buckling up.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts, when worn correctly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat occupants by 45 percent and by 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans.
“Motorists should buckle up every time they go out, but be especially vigilant at night,” Bell said. “Statistics show that passenger vehicle occupants are least likely to buckle up in the evening hours.”
Of the 576 motor vehicle fatalities last year, 215 occurred between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. Of these nighttime fatalities, 67 percent involved vehicle occupants who were unrestrained.
“All too often, we see crash victims who were caught up in the excitement of the Thanksgiving holiday and didn’t arrive safely at their destination,” Hancock said. “We want to remind everyone who will be on the roads to please buckle up – ‘Every Trip, Every Time’ – so you can give thanks this holiday season and enjoy the time with your loved ones.”
For more information about traveling safely this holiday season, please visit www.nhtsa.gov.