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Buckle Up This Thanksgiving Holiday

Traffic jam with rows of cars
Aleksandra Glustsenko, ThinkStock

The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and to help save lives on our roadways, Texarkana, Ark., patrol officers will be teaming with other state and local law enforcement officers across the country to crack down on seat belt violations.

Statistics show that the Thanksgiving holiday period can turn deadly for motor vehicle occupants, something that is made more dangerous when the occupants of motor vehicles fail to wear safety belts.

“You will see us out in force during the long weekend, and we’ll be showing zero tolerance for anyone who is not wearing a seat belt. Our goal is simple: to strictly enforce the law in order to save more lives,” said Sergeant Les Hunter.

“The statistics are really troubling,” said Sgt. Hunter “Almost half of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes are not wearing their seat belts. And during this busy time on our highways, we see way too many preventable fatalities in crashes.” During the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday period (6PM on Wednesday, November 27, to 5:59 AM on Monday, December 2), there were 301 passenger vehicle occupants killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationwide. Fifty-eight percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.

These tragic crashes could have turned out differently. NHTSA research indicates that 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. In 2013, seat belts saved the lives of 12,584 passenger vehicle occupants. If seat belt use had been at 100 percent, an additional 2,800 people would still be alive this Thanksgiving.

“Whether you’re driving to the grocery store, a friend’s house a mile away, or your grandparents’ house across the country,” Hunter added, “please buckle up this Thanksgiving, and every time you’re on the road.” Drivers who fail to heed the warning are taking too big a risk—a hefty fine or worse: dying in a crash.

It only takes a second to buckle up, and isn’t that easier than getting pulled over and ticketed? With the help of highway safety advocates and local law enforcement officers across the country, we can increase seat belt use and save lives on our roadways this Thanksgiving.

With the help of highway safety advocates and local law enforcement officers across the country, we can increase seat belt use and save lives on our roadways.

For more information about traveling safely during Thanksgiving, please visit their website. You can also visit the Texarkana, Ark., Police Department online.

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