Thanksgiving is traditionally the heaviest travel day of the year, a day when people want to be with family, or close friends. During the Thanksgiving holiday, more motorists are traveling with their families than any other time of the year. Displaying dangerous driving behaviors not only endangers the life of the driver but also the lives of their passengers and other motorists.
During the 2009 Thanksgiving holiday, there were seven motor vehicle accidents resulting in nine deaths. That compares to the 2008 holiday period where there were nine motor vehicle accidents resulting in nine deaths. Although there was a decrease in motor vehicle accidents in 2009, the amount of people who lost their lives did not change. This highlights the fact that drivers are not solely responsible for their own well-being when they put themselves behind the wheel.
To deter dangerous driving behavior, additional state police patrols will strictly enforce hazardous violations, including the failure of vehicle occupants to wear seatbelts. Sober driving and regular seat belt use are two of the most effective ways to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. Research has shown that when lap/shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury is reduced by 50 percent.