Americans may feel extra grateful as they gather together around the Thanksgiving table this year. As millions of travelers drive near and far distances to visit loved ones for the holiday season, it’s essential to Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Doing so will help ensure you make it to the Thanksgiving table.
To help keep community members safe this Thanksgiving season, Drive Safe Hampton Roads and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are teaming up to tell drivers and passengers what we’re most thankful for this year: seat belts. Proper seat belt use is the single most effective way to save your life in the event of a crash.
According to NHTSA, proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45%, and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50%. In 2017, approximately 14,995 people survived crashes because they were buckled up; if everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved, according to the latest data available. NHTSA’s research also reveals that males are more likely to be unbuckled than females in a fatal crash, and that younger drivers are also at greater risk of being unbuckled. In fact, in
2019, 51% of the males killed in crashes were not buckled up at the time of the crash, compared to 40% of females. Younger people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes and seat belt non-use. Among young adults 18 to 34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2019, more than half (57%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
Seat belt use should be a no-brainer. We know that regular seat belt use vastly reduces fatalities. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful for the most basic vehicle technology that has, without a doubt, saved the most lives. Help us spread the message: Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. We all want to see our friends and family arrive safe and sound to the Thanksgiving table.
For more information about the importance of seat belt safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts.