Law Enforcement Launches Campaign to Reduce Fatal Thanksgiving Auto Accidents

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced that state, and local law enforcement agencies are gearing up for the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, the campaign slogan is "Click it or ticket," which is paired with a zero-tolerance policy for unbuckled motorists, in a two-pronged plan to reduce lethal auto accidents. Dangerous Roadways Historically, Thanksgiving is one of the busiest days of the year for transit, with most people traveling by car. This, in and of itself, increases the risk of a wreck. However, the holidays also routinely bring a rise in DUI arrests as well. Thanksgiving, New Years, and Independence Day vie for the holiday with the highest number of drunk drivers. This year, as people head out to celebrate and enjoy dinner with their loved ones, law enforcement agencies will be setting up DUI checkpoints and heavily patrolling the streets. In addition to keeping an eye out for impaired drivers, they'll be looking for people who aren't wearing their seatbelts. Quick Facts

  • 301 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in wrecks during the 2012 Thanksgiving holiday.
  • 60-percent of the people who died were not wearing seatbelts.
  • Concerning the whole year, 52-percent of people who died in wrecks were not buckled.

Risk Factors and Statistics According to the 2012 data, which is the most recent available, young adults were the most likely to be killed, specifically those age 21-24. Of this age group, 63-percent of the deceased were not wearing seat belts. Most fatal crashes occur at night, and Thanksgiving is no different. Moreover, 69-percent of those killed in evening collisions were not belted, versus 46-percent in daytime crashes. Reducing the Risk The NHTSA reports that 12,174 lives were saved in 2012 by seatbelts and that another 3,031 people would still be alive if they had worn theirs. Additionally, safety restraints reduce the risk of being ejected from a vehicle by 99-percent, which is otherwise deadly 79-percent of the time. They also noted that fatal injury to front-seat passengers is reduced by 45-percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is lowered by 50-percent, with proper seatbelt use. Law enforcement's multifaceted strategy involves getting impaired drivers off the road and having people to buckle up, so they stay safe. Because Thanksgiving has an abnormally-high amount of fatalities attributed to people who don't wear belts, correcting the issue is an integral part in reducing them. Their no-warning, zero-tolerance campaign, is designed to raise awareness, which will also aid in the overall decline of fatal auto accidents.

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