By Erin G. Eggen
Frankfort, KY – With the holidays quickly approaching, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is sending Thanksgiving travelers important lifesaving reminders – buckle up and put the phone down.
“The upcoming holiday is one of the busiest travel times of the year, so we’re asking Kentuckians to extend their commitment to safety and health onto our roadways,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We believe that if all drivers practice these two simple behaviors – buckle up, and put the phone down – lives will be saved.”
According to KOHS, each year in Kentucky, distracted driving results in more than 50,000 crashes, more than 15,000 injuries and approximately 200 deaths. So, put down the phone and refrain from distracted driving behaviors such as texting, emailing and phone chats.
“Sometimes even the most attentive drivers are involved in a crash caused by other drivers,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “That’s why wearing a seat belt is the best defense against serious injuries and death. It is your best protection against a speeding, distracted or drunken driver.”
According to KOHS, each year in Kentucky, more than half of those killed in motor vehicles are not wearing a seat belt.
“A seat belt is the best way to ensure you and your loved ones make it home safely so buckle up – day and night,” said Gray.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent for front-seat vehicle occupants and by 60 percent for pickup truck, SUV and minivan occupants. Properly fastened seat belts contact the strongest parts of the body, such as the chest, hips and shoulders. A seat belt spreads the force of a crash over a wide area of the body, putting less stress on any one part, and allows the body to slow down with the crash, extending the time when crash forces are felt by the occupant.