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Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team urges motorist safety during Thanksgiving week

RELEASE DATE: November 20, 2009

EUSTIS — The Lake County Community Traffic Safety Team (CTST) is encouraging all motorists during this holiday period to drive carefully, don’t drive impaired and, most importantly, buckle up each and every trip, night or day.

Nationally, during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2008, 389 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes, including 156 during daylight hours and 231 during night time (two deaths were unknown regarding time), according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Nighttime is one of the more dangerous times on the road because seatbelt use is lower. Of the 231 nighttime vehicle occupant deaths nationally during the Thanksgiving holiday period in 2008, more than two-thirds did not have their seat belts fastened, while 40 percent of fatalities in daytime crashes were not wearing seat belts.

“To lose a loved one is a terrible thing to experience, especially during America’s family holiday, but to lose one’s life when it might have been saved by taking two seconds to buckle a seat belt is truly senseless,” said Noble Olasimbo, Chairman of the Lake County CTST.

Regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, according to NHTSA. Research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

“If you fail to buckle up during this holiday period, you run the risk of getting a ticket, or worse, getting killed or injured,” Olasimbo said.

For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, log on to www.nhtsa.gov. For more information about the Lake County CTST, call Noble Olasimbo or Cheryl Sutherland at (352) 483-9048.

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klafollette@lakecountyfl.gov

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