NHTSA issues safety travel tips ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday

Drivers headed northbound on Interstate 5 at Balboa Boulevard were caught in Thanksgiving holiday traffic starting Wednesday afternoon, and through the evening. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Motorists will have to plan ahead for a lot of time with tens of millions of other Americans on the road this Thanksgiving holiday, according to the advice of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a news release issued Friday.

“Last year over the Thanksgiving holiday, 528 friends, family members, neighbors and colleagues died on our roads in traffic crashes,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Heidi R. King in a video addressing traffic safety.

About half of the passenger occupants who died were not wearing a seat belt. In 2017, 73 people died in driving fatalities in California during the Thanksgiving holiday.

To keep travelers safe, the NHTSA issued a set of precautions for the public to consider before making a drive as the holiday season starts:

  • Maintain a safe speed while on the road. For more than two decades, speeding has been involved with about one-third of driving-related fatalities. Even while driving safely, road conditions such as bad weather, construction or unlit roads at night can affect travel.
  • Pay attention to the road and avoid distractions such as texting. The largest age group reported to be most distracted during fatal crashes are teenagers.
  • Always wear a seat belt properly. Last year, seat belts saved almost 15,000 lives. By contrast, more than 2,500 lives could have been saved had a seat belt been properly used.
  • Keep children secured in the proper seat intended for their safety. More than 11,600 lives have been saved by child restraints since 1975. Last year, 325 children were saved while seated and restrained properly.
  • Do not drive drunk. Have a designated driver to stay sober and drive others who are intoxicated. Last year, over 10,800 deaths were the result of alcohol-related vehicle collisions.

For more information on how to stay safe while traveling this holiday season, go to nhtsa.gov and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

The above information was obtained by The Signal via a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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