Thanksgiving is a busy travel period for families across the nation. Americans are moving throughout the country more than ever before. Every year, we see record numbers in traffic, and unfortunately, accidents and injury.
During the 2016 Thanksgiving weekend, 341 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Tragically, 49% of those killed were not buckled up. Like drunk driving, deaths from not wearing a seatbelt represent needless tragedies for families across America. These deaths could have been likely prevented with the simple click of a seat belt. Research shows that wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest things you can do to stay safe when you’re traveling in a vehicle, especially during busy travel periods like Thanksgiving. Also, every year, Georgia participates in Click It or Ticket enforcement during the Thanksgiving travel period to reinforce seatbelt safety awareness statewide. So Click It, or you will be getting a ticket.
If you find yourself driving for Thanksgiving this year, follow these tips to help ensure everyone gets where they are going without incident this Thanksgiving:
- Do not drink and drive. At all. Alcohol impairs all of the important skills needed to drive safely, such as judgement, reaction, vision and concentration. If you are going to drink, have a designated driver or call a Lyft or Uber.
- Check your tires. Tires are a vehicle’s first line of defense on the road. Check your tire pressure, tread depth and spare tire especially before long trips. You still have time to get tires taken care of before the holiday.
- Buckle up. A seat belt is your vehicle’s most important safety feature. Georgia law requires that all drivers, all front seat passengers and all passengers under the age of 18 wear seat belts or the appropriate child restraints.
- Stay off the Phone. Georgia is a Hands Free state, meaning that even touching your smart device is illegal. Studies observing drivers operating Smart Devices while driving has shown performance comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol. So just don’t do it.
- Rest. That giant dinner plus your Auntie’s pie can put you in a food coma. If you left early in the day to be with family, be sure you are rested and awake before heading home or better yet, consider staying the night.
- Observe and obey all speed limits. Speed limits may change as you drive through different types of roadways, so make sure you adjust your speed accordingly. Many of Georgia’s country roads are 55 mph.