With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is joining in a national effort to send Thanksgiving travelers an important lifesaving reminder to buckle up – every trip, every time.
“The upcoming holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so we’re asking motorists to always wear a seat belt,” said KOHS Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “If you buckle up, your risk of injury or death in a crash is greatly reduced. A seat belt is your best defense against an impaired, speeding or distracted driver.”
There were 1,090 crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday last year in Kentucky, resulting in 231 injuries and four fatalities. Of those fatalities, one was not wearing a seat belt and one involved alcohol.
“As we reflect on gratitude during this season of Thanksgiving, we asked fellow Kentuckians to share why they are thankful for their seat belt,” said Siwula. “These are real stories of lives saved just by taking a few seconds to buckle up.”
Of the 614 motor vehicle fatalities so far this year, 53.3 percent were not restrained.
“There is only so much the law can do,” said Siwula. “Personal responsibility behind the wheel is the key to saving more lives. We hope when people hear these stories on the radio, it will encourage motorists to use a seat belt – every trip, every time.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent.