During last year’s extended Thanksgiving weekend, 389 people nationwide died in traffic crashes, including 156 during daylight hours and 231 at night. But get this: Of those nightime victims, more than two-thirds didn’t have their seat belts buckled, as opposed to 40 percent who died during the day.
“Thanksgiving is the iconic American holiday,” said Paramus Police Chief Richard Cary. “Unfortunately, some people seem willing to forego this classic family gathering for the pleasures of an emergency room — or worse, the morgue, simply because they didn’t take a second to buckle up before driving.”
Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is cut in half.
“If you fail to buckle up during this holiday period, you run the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, getting killed or injured,” Cary warned.
“Make sure the only belt left unbuckled this Thanksgiving is the one at the dinner table,” the chief said, “not the one in your vehicle.”
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