Don’t be a turkey; wear your seat belt

This is the day before Thanksgiving, which means roads will be filled today and tomorrow with people traveling distances great and short. We urge you to drive safely and sober, and add this message from Kaitlyn Boehler, Senca County Safe Communities Coordinator:

One of the year’s busiest travel times is right around the corner: Thanksgiving. No matter how far you drive this holiday — whether it’s down the street, across town or hundreds of miles — you could be involved in a traffic crash. That’s why it’s important to always buckle your seat belt, every trip, every time.

Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel times of the year. AAA projects that 54.3 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this Thanksgiving, a 4.8-percent increase over last year. When there’s an increase in the number of people traveling, and the number of cars, it is likely that there will be an increase of crashes and fatalities.

During the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend alone, 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, and 52 percent were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash. For those Thanksgiving weekend crashes that occurred at night, the percentage of unbuckled occupants killed jumped to 55 percent. These deaths could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.

Seat belt use is one of the simplest ways to stay safe when you’re in a vehicle. In the last decade, more than 100,000 people survived crashes because they were simply wearing their seat belts. Many Americans know of at least one person who has been killed in a vehicle crash, but still too many people think it can’t happen to them. Buckling your seat belt should be your first step every time you enter a vehicle. Whether you’re riding or driving, traveling just across town or across the country, make sure you always wear seat belts — this Thanksgiving and every day of the year.

It is my Thanksgiving wish that everyone will realize the lifesaving benefits of wearing their seat belt. In less time than it takes you to slice the pie, pass the gravy, or say “Happy Thanksgiving,” you can do something much more powerful, smart and effective.

Please remind all of your family members to Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time. You will be thankful you did.

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit www.trafficsafety