With the holiday season approaching, Andrew Turnage, public information coordinator for the UGA Traffic Injury Prevention Institute, has some tips to keep drivers safe.
“Thanksgiving is the deadliest holiday out of the year in the U.S.,” he said. “On a normal day, there are about 100 fatalities due to traffic accidents. But on Thanksgiving, there are over 500 fatalities nationwide.”
On Thursday and Friday during Thanksgiving week, there are about 50 percent more people on the road. Added to that is a jump in alcohol consumption. Both factors increase the chances for things to go wrong.
Turnage’s No. 1 travel tip: Wear your seatbelt. Seatbelt use saves lives for drivers and passengers. If a crash occurs, car occupants are three times more likely to survive if they’re wearing seatbelts.
For children, use a child safety seat or booster seat if needed. Seats should be checked to make sure they are installed correctly. Safety seats should be used until the child reaches the height where they are no longer needed.
Georgia law requires child safety seat usage until age 8. However, 8-year-olds may not be tall enough to safely use car seatbelts, designed for people taller than 4 feet 9 inches.
Before traveling, check your car’s tires, oil, brakes, critical fluids, headlights, tail lights and turn signals. Make sure all loose objects are placed in the trunk or secured, as they can become deadly projectiles in an accident.