Published Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest driving weekends of the year. Because of increased traffic and too many driver distractions and impairments, it is also a time when there are too many accidents, too many injuries and too many fatalities on our roadways.
On Monday, Georgia public safety officials traveled the state promoting driving safety during the holiday period. There was alarming news from their message: Traffic fatalities in Georgia are expected to rise in 2012, after six years of declining fatalities.
“Already, we have surpassed where we were this time last year, and we have not even entered the holiday season, our busiest traffic period of the year,” said Harris Blackwood, Georgia highway safety director.
Another message: Saving a life on our roadways can be as simple as buckling a seat belt.
“Wearing your seat belt is the single most effective thing you can do to ensure you and your passengers arrive safely to your family’s Thanksgiving celebration,” said Col. Mark McDonough, commissioner, Georgia Department of Public Safety
Research shows proper seat belt use reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent. Proper seat belt use reduces the risk of moderate to serious injuries by 50 percent.
As simple as buckling a seat belt can be, the sad news is nearly 50 percent of the confirmed fatalities on Georgia’s roads this year were people not wearing a seat belt.
With traffic fatalities on the rise in our state, we encourage all motorists to buckle up this holiday season. Obey the speed limit, don’t drink impaired and don’t text or use the Internet while driving. Drive safely and enjoy the holidays.