Report by Paula Antolini
November 20, 2016 12:46PM EDT
2016 Thanksgiving Travelers: ‘Click It or Ticket’ Law Enforcement Looking for Unbuckled Motorists
One of the busiest times of year on the roads is Thanksgiving week where millions of people drive to be with loved ones for the holiday. This also unfortunately means the potential for more vehicle accidents rises. This week begins the “Click It or Ticket” campaign to remind motorists to buckle up for safety, and to save lives. Increased patrolling ill have officers on the lookout for unbuckled motorists.
Expect Tough Enforcement During the “Click It or Ticket” Campaign
This Thanksgiving, law enforcement agencies will ramp up patrolling and be on the lookout for seat belt violations. Failing to buckle up is dangerous and against the law, so you should always wear your seat belt. Remember: Click It or Ticket.
The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and more vehicles on the roadways means potential for more crashes and more fatalities.
The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is teaming up with state and local law enforcement and highway safety advocates across the country for a high-visibility mobilization during the busy Thanksgiving travel period to make sure everyone is wearing their seat belts.
The “Click It or Ticket” campaign combines increased awareness with increased patrolling to reach as many Americans as possible with one key message: Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to save your life and the lives of your loved ones while on the road this Thanksgiving.
Not Buckling Up Can Be Deadly
During the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 26, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, December 1), 341 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Five in 10 of those killed — a staggering 50 percent — were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crash.
Compared to Thanksgiving weekend in 2013, there was a 13-percentage-point increase in the number of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2014, and a 19-percentage-point increase in the number of those who were unrestrained when they were killed that weekend.
At nighttime, seat belt usage drops. Over the 2014 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 58 percent of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in nighttime crashes (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) were unbelted, whereas 38 percent of those killed in daytime crashes were unbelted.
During all of 2014, a total of 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in crashes, and almost half (49%) of them were NOT wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Among passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2014, the age groups 13-15 and 25-34 had the highest percentages (59%) of occupants who were unrestrained at the time of their fatal crash.
Seat Belts Save Lives
According to NHTSA, seat belts saved approximately 12,802 lives nationwide in 2014. If everyone had worn seat belts that year, an additional 2,814 lives could have been saved.
Proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.
Ejection from a vehicle is one of the most dangerous events that can happen to a person in a crash. In fatal crashes in 2014, almost 8 out of 10 (80%) of the passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from vehicles were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejections; only 1 percent of the occupants reported to have been wearing their seat belts were totally ejected in a crash, compared to 30 percent who were unrestrained.
This Thanksgiving — and every day of the year — remember, Click It or Ticket.