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Buckle Up and Don’t Drive Impaired This Thanksgiving Holiday

Once again this year, traditional Thanksgiving travel plans may be changing because of the public health emergency, but that doesn’t mean safe driving practices should change. For those getting on the road this Thanksgiving, we want you to get to where you’re going safely. Two easy ways to help accomplish that: buckle up and don’t drive impaired by alcohol or drugs. While they might seem obvious, the reality is that drivers have been making risky decisions behind the wheel since the public emergency began – including driving impaired and not wearing their seat belts.


It’s a fact: seat belts save lives. But many people killed in traffic crashes during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday weekend weren’t wearing their seat belts — especially at night. 

  • 279 passenger vehicle occupants were killed 
  • 54% of those killed at night were unbuckled 
  • 42% of those killed during the day were unbuckled

Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, from 2015-2019, nearly 800 people died in crashes involving a drunk driver. The holiday period begins on Thanksgiving Eve when we typically see people begin to gather with family and friends. In fact, from 2015-2019, 135 drivers involved in fatal crashes on Thanksgiving Eve were drunk. It’s important to understand even a small amount of alcohol can affect a person quickly. For example, someone with a blood alcohol concentration of .02 can have some loss of judgment.


Drugs also affect a person’s ability to drive safely. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychoactive effects — can impact how a person drives. THC slows reaction time, impairs cognitive performance, and makes it more difficult for drivers to stay in their lane.

By driving sober, buckling up every time, and making sure your passengers do the same, you can help ensure that you and your loved ones arrive to your holiday destination safe and sound. Also, remember to watch your speed and don’t drive distracted.