Wise Rides: Drive safe this holiday season

Drive safe this holiday season

With the holiday season upon us, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) and the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) are reminding motorists to drive safe and buckle up. To make sure everyone gets to enjoy the holiday season, there will be a statewide increased law enforcement presence to help crack down on un-belted drivers during the traditional Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket campaign.

Why Thanksgiving? Because data shows that Thanksgiving is indeed a dangerous time to be on Georgia roads. During last year’s 102-hour travel period from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26 to midnight the following Sunday, Georgia experienced 19 traffic fatalities, which was up from 10 the year before. Georgia also saw 376 unbelted traffic fatalities in 2013, which is more than both alcohol and speed-related fatalities.

Such a simple step can save a life, but too many lives are still being lost because some have still not heeded the seatbelt message. And it’s not just in Georgia. Unfortunately, Thanksgiving crashes and unbelted fatalities are not unique to the Peach State. During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2013, 301 people were killed in traffic crashes nationwide. Tragically, 58 percent of those killed were unrestrained at the time of their crash.

That is why GOHS will be supported by thousands of state troopers, police officers and sheriff's deputies during the holiday travel season. More people on the road equal more opportunities for traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. Simple steps like buckling up, slowing down and driving sober can save a life and help make sure everyone gets home safely.

As part of the safe holiday campaign, 11Alive and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety are partnering with Checker Cab to offer a free ride home.

When you celebrate, don't drink and drive and always use a designated driver.

When driving at all is not a safe choice, Checker Cab is offering a free ride home by simply calling 404-351-1111.No advanced reservations are needed and the offer is for a ride home only up to $25. Visit: www.atlantacheckercab.com

Did you know?

  • In 2013, there were 21,132 passenger vehicle occupants (in passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, or SUVs) killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Almost half (49%) of those who were killed were not wearing seat belts.
  • NHTSA estimates that seat belts saved the lives of 12,584 passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older in 2013. But if everyone had worn their seat belts on every trip that year, an additional 2,800 lives could have been saved.
  • ​The facts don’t lie: when you wear your seat belt as a front-seat occupant of a passenger car, your risk of fatal injury goes down by 45 percent. For light-truck occupants, that risk is reduced by 60 percent.
  • During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2013 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 27, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, December 2), there were 301 people killed in traffic crashes across the nation.
  • Tragically, 58 percent of those killed were not buckled up, representing a slight increase in seat belt use compared to the same weekend in 2012, when 61 percent of those killed in traffic crashes were unrestrained.


  • ​Nighttime belt use improved from the year before (2012), when 70 percent ofthe passenger vehicle occupants killed in nighttime crashes were unbelted. However, the percentage of passenger vehicle occupants killed in daytime crashes who were unbelted rose slightly from 47 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2013.
  • Statistically, nighttime is deadlier than daytime in terms of seat belt use. Over the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend, 64 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 48 percent during the day.
  • Young people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes and seat belt nonuse. Among the passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013, occupants ages 21-24 were unrestrained at a rate of 55 percent, with occupants 16-20 following close behind at a rate of 50-percent unrestrained.

  • Males are more likely than females to be unrestrained in fatal crashes. Fifty-four percent of the male passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2013 were unrestrained, compared with 41 percent for females.

  •  If you’re ejected from a vehicle in a crash, odds are that you will not survive. In 2013, almost 8 out of 10 (79%) of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection; only 1 percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in crashes, compared to 31 percent of those who were unrestrained.

    Get more information at Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) - www.gahighwaysafety.org



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