Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council estimates 441 people will die and 42,700 will be seriously injured in traffic crashes during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday period, from 6 p.m. Nov. 24 to midnight Nov. 28. However, NSC estimates that as many as 336 people will be saved because they used their safety belts, and an additional 115 lives would be saved if everybody buckled up during the Thanksgiving Day period.
Safety belts are the most effective form of protection in a motor vehicle crash. Wearing a safety belt can cut the risk of crash injuries in half. From 2004 to 2008, safety belts saved more than 75,000 lives– enough people to fill a large sports arena. Buckling up helps you remain secure in a vehicle during a crash, as being thrown from a vehicle is almost always deadly. Air bags also offer in-vehicle protection, but they are designed to work with safety belts, not replace them.
Take a positive approach to encouraging safety belt use. Other benefits of wearing a safety belt include:
- To help you feel in control
- Because others care about you and want you to be safe
- To model the behavior expected of your children
- To be a good passenger
Wearing a safety belt is vital to staying safe, even if you only are traveling a short distance. Learn more about safety belt myths and facts.
Ensure everyone in the vehicle is safely buckled up before you drive. Adults should place the shoulder belt across the middle of the chest and away from the neck, adjusting the lap belt across the hips and below the stomach. The National Highway Safety Administration provides information on how to safely buckle children.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.