Alabama drivers reminded to buckle up this Thanksgiving

As Alabama residents prepare to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday, highway safety officials are encouraging safe driving behaviors. Each year, as Alabama residents travel to celebrate with loved ones there is an increase in the number of car accidents that occur around Thanksgiving. The majority of these car accidents, however, are preventable.

According to the American Automobile Association, roughly 39 million Americans will travel by car or truck this Thanksgiving holiday. With so many motor vehicles crowing the nation's interstates, roads and highways it's no wonder that Thanksgiving is often one of the most deadly holidays for fatal car accidents.

Last year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, a total of 337 individuals were killed in car accidents nationwide. Of those killed, 185 were not wearing seatbelts. If involved in a car accident, wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective safety measures drivers and passengers can take to prevent injury or death.

Despite countless crash-test studies and public safety campaigns, many Americans and Alabama residents still fail to buckle-up when driving or traveling in a motor vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt, however, is the easiest way to protect oneself from becoming another holiday fatality statistic.

Individuals who fail to wear seatbelts who are involved in car accidents often sustain severe or fatal injuries. Severe head and neck injuries as well as impact injuries sustained when an individual is thrown from a vehicle are all common in accidents involving unrestrained drivers and passengers.

For the safety of all Alabama drivers and passengers, individuals planning to travel by car or truck this Thanksgiving holiday would be wise to buckle-up. Likewise, to prevent injury, drivers need to ensure children are properly restrained.

Source: Alabama Live, "West Alabama Community Traffic Safety officials encourage Thanksgiving travelers to buckle up," Chris Pow, Nov. 16, 2012

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