Buckle up and stay stafe this holiday season

With Thanksgiving here, people are flocking to roads to visit and celebrate with family and friends. Seneca County Safe Communities reminds 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, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” Seneca County Sheriff Bill Eckelberry stated in a release. “So we want to remind everyone that your seat belts can save your life and those with whom you are traveling.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved almost 12,000 lives nationwide in 2011. Research shows that with proper seat belt use, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

During the 2011 Thanksgiving period, 249 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Fifty percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

In 2011, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash.

“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,” Eckelberry stated. “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.”