The holiday season is the busiest travel season for U.S. roads! AAA’s travel forecasts for the 2018 end of the year holiday season predicted that over 112 million Americans would travel for the holidays, and the travel trend for the 2019 holidays has only continued to rise. What this means is that an unprecedented number of cars will be on the roads over the next 6 weeks, and we want you to be safe.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is partnering with local organizations across the nation this year to raise safety awareness and to advocate for seat belt use. On their traffic safety page, they’ve compiled these Thanksgiving travel statistics that we wanted to share with you.
- During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2017, there were 365 passenger vehicle occupants killed in vehicle crashes across the nation.
- Nighttime is deadlier than daytime in terms of seat belt use. Over the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 40% during the day.
- In 2017, there were 23,551 passenger vehicle occupants (in passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, or SUVs) killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Almost half (47%) of those who were killed were not wearing seat belts.
- NHTSA estimates that seat belts saved the lives of 14,995 passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older in 2017. If everyone had worn their seat belts on every trip that year, an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved.
- When you wear your seat belt as a front-seat occupant of a passenger car, your risk of fatal injury goes down by 45%. For light-truck occupants, that risk is reduced by 60%.
- Younger people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes and seat belt nonuse. Among the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2017, occupants ages 21-24 and 25-34 were unrestrained at a rate of 57% and 59%, respectively.
- Males are more likely than females to be unrestrained in fatal crashes. More than half (51%) of the male passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2017 were unrestrained, compared with 39% for females.
- In 2017, 8 out of 10 (83%) of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection; only 1% of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes, compared to 28% of those who were unrestrained.
We invite you to join the nationwide campaign to make this holiday season, not only the busiest one, but also the safest one on record. Protect yourself and the people around you by staying alert, sober, and buckled. We wish you a safe and happy 2019 holiday season, and from our family to yours: travel safely this season.