NSC Estimates 433 Traffic Deaths During Thanksgiving Weekend
The council said this four-day period falls near the end of what it estimates has been a particularly deadly year on the roads: Preliminary NSC estimates are that traffic deaths increased 10 percent through the first nine months of 2015 from the same period in 2014.
The National Safety Council estimates 433 people will be killed on U.S. roads and another 52,300 people will be seriously injured in car crashes during the long Thanksgiving holiday period that begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29. The council said this four-day period falls near the end of what it estimates has been a particularly deadly year on the roads: Preliminary NSC estimates are that traffic deaths increased 10 percent through the first nine months of 2015 from the same period in 2014.
"Each Thanksgiving, we begin another holiday season while remembering all we are grateful for, said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the council. "But do not let the frenetic pace of the season rush you on the roads. Be alert and drive defensively so you can celebrate at home, not sit in the emergency room."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 87 percent of vehicle occupants wear seat belts; the 13 percent of drivers and passengers who did not buckle up accounted for 44.7 percent of fatalities in 2013, according to NHTSA. The safety council estimates 164 lives may be saved during this Thanksgiving holiday because they wore seat belts.
NSC's other tips to ensure a safer Thanksgiving holiday:
- Designate an alcohol- and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation.
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
- Never use a cell phone behind the wheel, even a hands-free phone.
- Do not allow teens to drive with their friends. A single young passenger can increase a teen driver's fatal crash risk by 44 percent, according to the council.
- Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them.
Supplemental information about the traffic fatality estimates can be found here.