SACRAMENTO â€“ The extended Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel periods of the year.Â This raises the risk of a potentially serious or even deadly traffic collision.
As families and friends gather for the holiday, the California Highway Patrol (CHP), along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wants to encourage travelers to always buckle up, avoid driving distracted, obey the posted speed limit, and never drink and drive.
â€œSomething as simple as buckling up before your trip can save your life and avoid turning a non-injury collision into a tragedy,â€ said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
Thanksgiving is a Maximum Enforcement Period for the CHP.Â The Thanksgiving holiday reporting period begins Wednesday, November 26, at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, November 30, at 11:59 p.m.Â The Thanksgiving MEP also coincides with NHTSAâ€™s annual â€œClick It or Ticketâ€ campaign.
While collisions decreased during last yearâ€™s Thanksgiving holiday travel period, tragically, 33 people lost their lives on Californiaâ€™s roadways due to a collision; this was down from the 44 killed during Thanksgiving 2012.Â Sadly, 88 percent of those killed in 2013 were not wearing a seat belt.
â€œProtect yourself and those you love through the simple action of buckling a seat belt,â€ added Commissioner Farrow.Â â€œSeat belts are the single most effective piece of equipment in a vehicle that will prevent loss of life or injury.
The CHP would also like to remind motorists to avoid distracted driving, to travel at a speed that is safe for conditions, and also designate a non-drinking driver for the safety of everyone on the road.Â Last year during the Thanksgiving holiday, the CHP arrested more than 1,200 people for driving under the influence.Â The public is encouraged to report unsafe or impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1.