National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
WASHINGTON, D.C. - As millions of Americans travel over the Thanksgiving holiday to celebrate with family and friends, National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker urges travelers to wear seat belts, follow the rules and make safety a top priority.
"I urge the American public traveling the roads, to put safety first while enjoying the holiday," said Rosenker. "Tragedies can occur when travelers forget basic safety practices."
Holidays are consistently ranked among the deadliest times of the year, especially for motorists and pedestrians, particularly when drivers are on the roads early in the morning or late at night. During the 2006 Thanksgiving holiday travel season, 457 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Of those, 53 percent were not wearing safety belts.
Last year, more than 41,000 people died in highway crashes. Many of these crashes involved unrestrained or improperly restrained adults and children, and alcohol-impaired or novice drivers.
"As we travel to see our families and friends, motorists need to be alert and avoid distractions, to slow down particularly in residential areas -- and do not drink and drive.
"Do not let what should be a joyful holiday trip turn into a tragedy," said Rosenker.
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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.