ITASCA, Ill., Dec. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Safety Council today released its estimates of traffic fatalities for the Christmas and New Year's holiday periods. The Christmas holiday period – 6:00 p.m. December 24 through 11:59 December 25 – is estimated to result in 105 traffic fatalities and another 11,200 medically consulted injuries. The New Year's holiday period – 6:00 p.m. December 31 through 11:59 January 1 – is estimated to result in 156 traffic fatalities and 16,700 medically consulted injuries.
A new "Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle deaths during holiday periods" infographic from Safety+Health magazine indicates that the holiday period with the highest average percentage of alcohol-impaired traffic deaths is New Year's at 42 percent. NSC offers the following tips:
- Even if you're "just a little buzzed," don't drive
- Designate a "non-drinking" driver or take a cab
- Don't feel embarrassed to refuse a ride from an impaired driver – even if it's a friend or spouse
"Holidays are meant to be a time for celebration," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Safety Council. "The Council provides these estimates to help remind all drivers to practice defensive driving habits and make smart decisions on the roads to avoid unnecessary tragedy."
Studies have shown that safety belts are 45 percent effective in preventing fatalities. It is estimated that 38 lives may be saved this Christmas holiday period and 57 lives may be saved during New Year's because people choose to wear safety belts. NSC recommends:
- Wear your safety belt every trip, every time – even when traveling a short distance
- Model this safe behavior, especially in front of children
- Ensure everyone is safely buckled up before you drive
- Place children in age-appropriate safety seats
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities. Safety+Health magazine, the Council's flagship publication, is a leading source of occupational safety and health information.
SOURCE National Safety Council