Buckle up, drive safely this holiday

Thursday is Thanksgiving Day, but the holiday really gets under way today; the Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as the Wednesday before turkey day through the following Sunday.

So, it’s not too early to give thanks — for seat belts, traffic laws you can live with and checking your oil and the air in the space.

AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home this Thanksgiving, a 3.3-percent increase over last year. Nearly all of them — 89 percent, or 45.5 million — are planning a holiday road trip. Most of the rest will at least hit the road to get to the airport, bus or train station.

Thus, it’s as important as ever to buckle up and obey traffic laws while heading to holiday gatherings. The Ohio State Highway Patrol notes nine people were killed in crashes on Ohio roads during the long holiday weekend last year. Five of those fatalities resulted from impaired drivers and six did not use seat belts.

While it often seems like driving is a competition, motorists should keep in mind it really is a cooperative venture. By looking out for each other out there, we improve the likelihood of arriving at our destinations safely.

We’re all in this together.