Home and Community Safety & Health Safety Holiday safety Driving

NSC estimates nearly 800 people will die in roadway crashes over Christmas, New Year’s holidays

Christmas gifts in trunk
Photo: ArtistGNDphotography/iStockphoto

Itasca, IL — An estimated 371 people will be killed on the nation’s roads during the Christmas holiday weekend, and another 427 over New Year’s weekend. Many of those lives could be saved, however, if travelers buckled up, the National Safety Council says.

All vehicle occupants should wear their seat belts. Doing so could save as many as 310 lives over both holiday periods, the council estimates. “In 2020, 90% of front-seat passengers used seat belts,” the nonprofit organization says. “If 100% of seated occupants wear their seat belts, it’s estimated an additional 180 lives could be saved over the holidays.”

In addition to buckling up, NSC is urging all travelers to ensure child car seats are properly installed and to designate a sober and drug-free driver or arrange alternative transportation. Alcohol typically is involved in 38% and 36% of traffic fatalities over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, respectively.

Other recommendations:

“This holiday season, I urge every person on the road to take safety personally and focus on making it home safely to celebrate and make memories with loved ones,” NSC President and CEO Lorraine M. Martin said. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”

The Christmas holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 23, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26. The New Year’s holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 30, and ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 2.

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)