Be safe this Thanksgiving


The Thanksgiving holiday period is one of the busiest travel times of the year, and the Warwick Police Department is reminding all travelers, whether across the country or just across town, ensure a safe arrival and buckle up, every trip, every time.

“During the long Thanksgiving travel weekend, many more people than usual are on the roads visiting family and friends,” said Lieutenant Michael Gilbert, “and we want to alert everyone that perhaps the single best thing they can do to save lives and protect themselves and their passengers on our roadways is to insist on the regular and proper use of their seat belts.”

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives in 2010. Research shows that the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent when seat belts are worn.

Too many people are not getting the message. Fifty-one percent of the 22,187 passengers killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 were not wearing seat belts.

“It’s a simple step that each of us can take to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Yet, too many people are still not buckling up, especially in the hustle and bustle of holiday travel,” said Gilbert.

During the Thanksgiving holiday (Nov. 24 to Nov. 29) in 2010, 337 drivers and passengers were killed nationally; 55 percent were unrestrained.

“Unfortunately, the overnight hours prove to be the most dangerous on our nation’s roadways, not only during the Thanksgiving holiday but throughout the year,” said Gilbert.

Sixty-one percent of the 10,647 killed were in crashes during the hours (between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.) were not wearing seat belts, compared to 42 percent during the daytime hours.

In an effort to make more motorists buckle up, Warwick Police has joined with other police departments and the Rhode Island State Police for the 2012 National “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization from Nov. 18-25.

“Every day of the year, but especially during more dangerous travel times like the Thanksgiving holiday and at nighttime, we are working hard to remind everyone to always buckle up,” said Gilbert. “Seat belts save lives, so please buckle up, every trip, every time, so you can give thanks this holiday season and enjoy the time with your loved ones.”

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