Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council estimates 610 people may die and 33,000 may be seriously injured in traffic crashes during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
However, NSC estimates that as many as 509 people may survive the holiday because they will wear their seatbelts. An additional 149 lives could be saved if everyone buckled up.
The risk for fatal injuries on America’s roads and highways are as much as 42% higher on the Wednesday before the official holiday and 19% higher than normal on Thanksgiving Day.
Travel estimates for the 2005 Thanksgiving holiday extend from at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening through midnight Sunday, Nov. 27.
To ensure a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday, NSC recommends that anyone driving this weekend:
Make sure all passengers are buckled up and children are in age- appropriate safety seats.
- Enforce a “driver distraction-free zone” in vehicles equipped with mobile electronic devices including the use of cell phones as well as stereo, global positioning, video and gaming systems.
- Allow plenty of travel time to avoid frustration and diminish the impulse to speed.
- Drive defensively and exercise caution especially during inclement weather.
- Limit alcohol intake. Even moderate consumption of wine or beer impairs reaction time and driving judgment.
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.