CHICAGO, IL – While the holiday season may look a bit different this year, there’s one thing that remains stagnant: holiday traffic fatalities. While the CDC urges Americans against traveling, many will still be on the go.
The National Safety Council (NSC), located in Itasca, Ill.) estimates more than 720 people will be killed on the roadway during Christmas weekend across the nation, and an additional 384 over New Year’s weekend.
As many as 287 lives could be saved over both holiday periods if all vehicle occupants wore their seatbelts, according to NSC. Parents and guardians should be advised to check a child’s car seat is properly installed.
Please do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. By drinking intoxicated, you run the risk of harming yourself and other innocent bystanders. Alcohol is involved in nearly 39% of traffic fatalities over Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods. Technology has made everything so accessible now – choose alternative methods of transportation such as a ride-share like Uber or Lyft, cab, Metra, CTA, or el.
Other recommendations by NSC include:
- Avoid distracted driving, including hands-free cellphone usage.
- Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
- Be aware of how others are driving on the road and maintain a safe distance.
- Sign a “New Driver Deal” with teen drivers at DriveItHOME.org.
- Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org.
- Check your vehicle for any recalls before getting on the road at ChecktoProtect.org.
“A safe travel season could instill much-needed hope as we start a new year and close an unrelenting one,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin stated in a press release. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, and avoiding distractions to look out for each other.”