Safe Driving Tips from NSC This Thanksgiving Holiday

Safe Driving Tips from NSC This Thanksgiving Holiday

The National Safety Council estimates that 518 people may die from a car crash during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Driving always poses risks. With more people on the road this holiday season, it’s important to take safety measures to keep you and your passengers safe.

According to a news release, the National Safety Council (NSC) predicts that as many as 518 people may die in car crashes during Thanksgiving travel (from November 23 to 27) this year. This could lead to the highest number of deaths from car crashes since 2007, the NSC said.

In 2007, NSC predicted that 564 people would lose their lives from car crashes during the Thanksgiving season. The actual number was 542. NSC’s estimates for every year following 2007 fell to the 400s, with the actual number of deaths ranging from 360 to 496.

“We hear it all the time, but if a loved one tells you to ‘drive safe,’ even out of habit, please do,” said Mark Chung, executive vice president of roadway practice at NSC in the news release. “As America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, the National Safety Council cannot stress enough the importance of taking safety personally, especially on the roads during the holidays.”

How can you protect yourself and others in the vehicle? For employees, NSC offers Defensive Driving Courses and a Safe Driving Toolkit. NSC also has programs that contain free resources for anyone—employees, teen drivers, people with children and more—such as Check to Protect, DriveitHOME, Child Passenger Safety and Our Driving Concern.

The organization also lists 11 steps you can take to keep everyone safe.

  1. Prepare before you go.” Check your vehicle for any maintenance that may need to be done. NSC recommends checking your oil and the air in your tires. Before hitting the road, make sure your car is safe for driving. Vehicle owners should check the oil, put air in the tires, and check for and repair open recalls. Visit to see if your vehicle has an open recall, and get it repaired for free.
  2. Drive distraction-free.” More than 3,100 people lost their lives from distracted driving in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Put your phone down while on the road.
  3. Slow down.” Follow the speed limits. Slow down if conditions are not ideal or if there is bad weather, like rain, snow or hail, which may occur this time of year in many states.
  4. "Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation." If your plans may lead to impairment, make sure you designate a sober driver or you have another safe way to get back, like a ridesharing service.
  5. Avoid fatigued driving.” It’s important you’re not tired when you drive. The NSC recommends getting adequate rest before you travel.
  6. Buckle up.” Put your seatbelt on. If you’re driving with other people, make sure your passengers are buckled.
  7. Protect vulnerable passengers.” If you’re driving with a child in the vehicle, be sure that car seats are installed correctly Child safety seats significantly reduce the risk of infant and toddler deaths. You can even have a technician help.
  8. Look before you lock.” When you’re at your destination or taking a break and leaving your vehicle, ensure all children and pets are out of the car.
  9. Understand your vehicle’s on-board safety systems.” Knowing your vehicle’s safety systems and how they work is important to keeping everyone safe. NSC said you can learn more about your vehicle at
  10. "Take an alternate path.” If your destination is nearby, there may be other options of transportation. Consider public transportation, biking or walking.
  11. Watch for all road users.” Be aware of other people on the road, whether they’re driving, biking or walking. The NSC recommends giving them adequate space.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is a former Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety,who has since joined OH&S’s client services team. She continues to work closely with OH&S’s editorial team and contributes to the magazine.

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