NSC to drivers: Be ‘extra vigilant’ during holiday travel

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Itasca, IL — An estimated 422 people may be killed, and 48,100 seriously injured, in motor vehicle crashes during the upcoming holiday period, the National Safety Council cautions.

NSC is urging drivers to be extra vigilant as they travel during the Christmas holiday period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 21 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 25, and the New Year’s holiday period, which begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 28, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 1.

“Celebrations are a huge focal point for family and friends this time of year, but making sure all holiday travelers arrive at their destinations safely should be at the top of our to-do lists,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC, said in a Dec. 18 press release. “For those on the road, that means buckling up, slowing down, avoiding distractions and driving sober. Prioritizing safety is the best way to welcome the new year.”

Tips for safe travel include:

  • Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation.
  • Understand how opioid pain relievers may affect your ability to drive safely. Visit StopEverydayKillers.org to learn more.
  • Buckle up on every trip and in every seating position. Seat belts could save 335 lives over the two upcoming holiday periods.
  • Make sure children are properly restrained in safety seats appropriate for their height and weight.
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue.
  • Sign a “New Driver Deal” with teen drivers at DriveitHOME.org.
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org.
  • Check your vehicle for recalls at ChecktoProtect.org.