ITASCA, Ill., Dec. 20, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Safety Council urges caution as people plan road trips to celebrate holidays with family and friends. NSC estimates 308 people may be killed and 35,400 may be seriously injured in car crashes during the upcoming Christmas holiday period. As many as 356 fatalities and 40,900 injuries are expected during the New Year's holiday. The Christmas holiday period begins at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22 and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, Dec. 25. The New Year's holiday period begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 29 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
"Safety is the greatest gift you can give, not only to your family but to those who share the roads with you," said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "Buckling up, paying attention, slowing down and driving sober can ensure you and your fellow travelers make it home for the holidays."
With preventable deaths at an all-time high, the Council has called for states to take actions to reduce residents' risks – particularly when it comes to safety on the roads. The NSC State of Safety report encourages states to implement proven measures to help reduce risk including instituting sobriety checkpoints, requiring ignition interlocks for first-time and repeat offenders, banning open containers, or automatically revoking licenses for more than 90 days for drivers with blood alcohol levels above .08 or those who refuse to test. Don't start the New Year with a DUI; impaired driving is a factor in over 10,000 deaths annually, so refrain from consuming alcohol or drugs prior to getting behind the wheel.
Additional tips for safe travel include:
- Drugged driving is impaired driving; visit StopEverydayKillers.org to learn about the scope of the prescription opioid crisis
- Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation; impairment begins with the first drink
- Buckle up on every trip and in every seating position. Seat belts could save 257 lives between each holiday period.
- Make sure children are properly restrained in safety seats appropriate for their height and weight
- Avoid distracted driving, even hands-free
- 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
Supplemental traffic fatality estimates for the Christmas and New Year's holiday periods are found here.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.
SOURCE National Safety Council