From Thanksgiving to New Year’s last year, 4,019 people died in traffic fatalities, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Drivers should use extreme caution at all times during the holiday season, especially college students speeding home on little sleep .
In light of this, we beg you:
*Don’t drive while drowsy.
The National Sleep Foundation said that college students face a particular risk here. According to an NSF survey, “younger drivers (18-29) were more likely to drive drowsy than other age groups.”
The Roads and Traffic Authority reported that driver fatigue caused 20 percent of all fatal crashes.
If you feel drowsy, pull over in a safe place and take a brief nap, drink a caffeinated beverage, or walk around.
*Obey traffic laws, such as speed limits and seat buckling.
The National Safety Council estimated that in 2000, about 497 people died in motor-vehicle crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday. Of these, about 133 didn’t survive simply because they did not wear a seat belt. The NSC also said that buckling up can reduce the severity of injuries.
*Don’t drive drunk.
MADD reports that alcohol contributed to 1,561 deaths between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, adding that during the holidays, the percentage of drunk drivers typically increases. The Dallas Morning News reported Monday that Texas leads the nation in the number of drunk driving fatalities.
The DPS suggests that you inspect your car fluid levels, tire air pressure, windshield wipers, jacks and other safety tools.
The Roads and Traffic Authority says you should check traffic reports and plan rest stops in advance.
*Use common sense.
If driving appears dangerous, don’t drive. If you’re tired, stop and rest. Leave early and don’t rush your travel. Safety Alerts says, “Gottagethereitis has been the cause of many accidents and injuries.”
Your life and the lives of others depend on your judgment. Please use caution while traveling this holiday season.
We want to see you, and you and everyone else unscathed in Chapel on Jan. 12.