Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest weekends for American roadways. Millions of people will be traveling long distances to celebrate the holiday with family and friends, leading to an increase in distractions, drowsiness and risky driving. According to NCSR’s Safer Roads Report 2014: Trends in Red-Light Running, there were 31,790 reported red-light violations during the Thanksgiving holiday period last year, leaving intersections across the U.S. at higher risk for vehicle collisions.
“Red-light safety camera data has proven time and again that driving over the holidays is dangerous,” says Melissa Wandall, President of NCSR. “We hope that by sharing these numbers with the public, we can promote cautious and safe driving during the Thanksgiving weekend and throughout the rest of the holidays.”
To further showcase the potential danger for passengers, the National Safety Council (NSC) said Thanksgiving is the third most dangerous holiday for driving in the United States. Last year, the NSC released a report that estimated there could be as many as 436 fatalities due to vehicle collisions during Thanksgiving weekend. The report said another 46,600 people could be injured in traffic collisions on the road during that period. In addition, NSC noted that having seatbelts fastened could play a key role in saving lives over Thanksgiving season, protecting close to 160 lives by using them while in the car.
It is clear that red-light running remains an issue on roadways year round, beyond the peak of violations during holiday travel periods. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 683 people were killed and an estimated 133,000 were injured in crashes that involved red-light running in 2012. NCSR urges all drivers who are hitting the road this holiday season to buckle up and take extra precautions while driving, especially in and around intersections.
For more information, visit NCSRSafety.org.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. NCSR brings together policymakers, community leaders and concerned citizens in support of red-light safety cameras, advocating for their use in cities and communities across the country. The National Coalition for Safer Roads is a 501 (c)(6) industry trade association. To learn more, please visit www.NCSRsafety.org, follow @SaferRoadsUSA on Twitter and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SaferRoadsUSA