LINCOLN — The Thanksgiving holiday is one of the deadliest weekends for America’s roads.  With more vehicles on the roads and potential adverse weather, it is more important than ever to stress the importance of seat belt safety.  To keep drivers and their passengers safe, the

Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office is partnering with law enforcement to share an important lifesaving reminder:  “Click It or Ticket.”

During the 2017 Thanksgiving weekend, 365 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide.

Nighttime crashes proved to be the most deadly, with 57% of Thanksgiving weekend crashes occurring at night.  Most of these deaths could have been prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.

In 2017, 8 out of 10 (83 percent) of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed.  Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection; only 1 percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes, compared to 28 percent of those who were unrestrained.

“It’s our greatest hope that our community members make it to their Thanksgiving destinations as safely as possible,” said Mark Segerstrom, NDOT Highway Safety Administrator.  “Of the 175 fatalities last year, 66 percent were not wearing seat belts.  When used correctly, seat belts substantially reduce the risk of fatal injury to vehicle occupants.”

Last year, over 500 law enforcement officers participated in Nebraska’s Click It or Ticket Mobilization.

The campaign yielded 152 seat belt citations, 54 DUI or DUID arrests, 109 driving under suspension citations and 113 uninsured motorist citations.

“Whether you’re driving 10 minutes to the Thanksgiving dinner table, or 10 hours, it’s critical that drivers and passengers Buckle Up — Every Trip, Every Time,” said Chief Bryan Waugh of the Kearney Police Department.  “We want everyone to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, so please, make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled before you ever start the car.”

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