TRENTON, NJ - Historically, Thanksgiving is the busiest travel time of the year, putting more people on the road, and therefore increasing the likelihood of crashes. This year, it's estimated that over 1,036,800 travelers will take to New Jersey highways on Thanksgiving Day. In a national effort to reach out to all Thanksgiving travelers, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety has joined with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with one important message: Seat Belts Save Lives.
Last year, New Jersey had six fatalities during the Thanksgiving period: three drivers and three passengers. Nationally in 2012, more than 300 people were killed in crashes on Thanksgiving weekend alone.
During a frontal collision, anyone in the car continues to move at the same rate of speed the vehicle was originally travelling. This inertia can carry the passengers into the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield or from the back seat into the front seat causing irreparable injury. The purpose of seat belts and airbags is to safely stop the inertia. Seat belts also ensure that passengers are in the correct position for airbag deployment.
“It is a sad statistic, but even sadder is that many of those
In 2012, approximately 12,174 people survived crashes because they were buckled up. The NHTSA estimates 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. The administration believes that if everyone had worn their seat belts that year, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved.
“More than half the drivers and passengers being
Louizou said that in 2012, a total of 21,667 passengers were killed in crashes, and of those, more than 10,000 were not buckled up. Thanksgiving weekend 2012, a disturbing 60 percent of the passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. At night, the statistic was even worse: 69 percent of the occupants killed at night were unbuckled.
Age Group Fatalities
Younger drivers are the most likely to be unbuckled in a fatal crash:
NHTSA data also reveals that males are more likely to be unbuckled than females in a fatal crash: