November 25, 2014 | Washington, DC
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Contact: Troy Green, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov
Motorists Also Urged to Prepare Vehicles Before Taking to the Roads
WASHINGTON – As the busy Thanksgiving holiday travel season kicks off and cold temperatures begin blanketing many parts of the country, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding travelers to drive safely and plan ahead before taking to the roads.
In 2012, a total of 416 people died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period, many were not buckled up (60 percent of passenger car and light truck occupants) or were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver (42 percent). To help travelers stay safe, NHTSA recommends the following precautions:
Buckle Up, Drive Sober and Pay Attention
- Remember to always wear your seat belt and ensure that children are buckled up in age- and size-appropriate restraints. Children under age 13 should be seated in the back seat. Remember, 33 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have primary seat belt laws.
- Never drive drunk or distracted. Driving drunk kills people. In every state, it’s is against the law to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. So obey the law; stay focused and alert at all times.
Check Your Vehicles and Tires
- Inspect your tires to avoid a blowout and to ensure proper grip in inclement weather. Make sure each tire is filled to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended inflation pressure. Don’t forget to check your spare tire to ensure it is properly inflated.
- Make sure your windshield wipers work and, if necessary, replace worn blades and completely fill your vehicle’s windshield wiper fluid reservoir.
- Check to see if your car has been recalled. Enter your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) into NHTSA’s free online search tool to find out. All major light vehicle and motorcycle brands can be searched. If the results show a recall, take action by calling your manufacturers. Ask for interim steps you can take to stay safe before getting the free fix.
- Keep up with routine maintenance and tune ups. Have your entire vehicle checked thoroughly for leaks, badly worn hoses, or other needed parts, repairs, and replacements.
- Plan your travel and route by checking the weather, road conditions, and traffic. Leave early, if necessary, and allow plenty of time to safely get to your destination.
- Carry items in your vehicle that may prove useful in the event of an emergency or if you get stranded, including: snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares/emergency markers, blankets, mobile phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine.
- If you become stranded, don’t run your vehicle with the windows up or in an enclosed space for an extended period of time to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically – just long enough to stay warm.
For additional tips and information – motorists can cruise NHTSA's interactive safety landscape to reveal tips and friendly reminders on how to get to their destination safely.