The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to make sure everyone makes it to the table this Thanksgiving. Because the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest for America, more drivers will be on the roads than usual, increasing the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash. It is vitally important for drivers and passengers to correctly use their seat belt every time they are traveling in a vehicle. Drivers are also reminded to never get behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages, drugs, or certain impairing medications.
“We want everyone who is traveling on West Virginia’s roads this Thanksgiving to be as safe as possible,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2020 (6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 25, to 5:59 a.m. on Monday, November 30), there were 333 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes across the nation. More than half (52%) were unrestrained and 185 died in alcohol-impaired crashes. Nighttime proved more deadly than daytime, with 67% of Thanksgiving weekend fatal crashes occurring at night. These deaths represent needless tragedies for families across America and may have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt or a sober ride home.
“Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating and being grateful with loved ones, and we want to make sure that West Virginians close to home or traveling arrive at their holiday destination safely,” said Bob Tipton, GHSP Director.
“Whether you’re driving 10 minutes to the Thanksgiving table, or 10 hours, it’s vitally important that drivers and passengers buckle up, and children are properly restrained in the appropriate car seat or booster for their weight and height,” Tipton added.
The GHSP is conducting a statewide impaired driving prevention enforcement mobilization surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. Drivers are reminded that for some, just one alcohol beverage is one too many. If you plan to drive, plan to refrain from alcohol or drugs during your Thanksgiving celebrations.
“Driving while impaired is illegal. You could kill yourself or someone else on the road. Impaired driving is not acceptable, especially when there are so many safe alternatives to get you home safely. Let’s show gratitude by being responsible drivers so that we keep ourselves and all road users safe,” concluded Tipton.
For more information about the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program, visit highwaysafety.wv.gov
or call 304-926-2509.