Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and many of us are making plans to reunite with family and friends. Once together, we’ll eat disturbing amounts of turkey, enjoy holiday libations, and celebrate what we’re thankful for. Thanksgiving can be a great time to relax, but it can also be stressful. Really stressful. And when all that stress follows you into the car, traveling can become dangerous.

Thanksgiving Day driving is dangerous

Thanksgiving is the most deadly driving day of the year. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, approximately 91 percent of this year’s travelers will be using their cars to reach their destinations. And unfortunately, some of them will never make it. This is a tragic fact, but what’s more tragic is that many of these lives could easily be spared if everyone buckled up.

Buckling your seat belt is the safest thing you’ll ever do while traveling in your car. If you’re not convinced, know this: according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, 21,667 people were killed in traffic crashes. And more than 60 percent of those could have been saved had they been wearing their seat belts. Every time you get in a car to go somewhere, whether it’s 2 miles to the grocery store or 1,000 miles to visit family, you should buckle up.

Seat belts aren’t just for the driver — the more the merrier 

Many of us will be traveling with our loved ones only to then travel even farther and visit even more loved ones. That’s a whole lot of cars full of people we love. If only the driver buckles up, everyone else is at risk of being ejected or hitting the windshield in the event of a crash. The statistics on surviving these scenarios are grim — 79 percent of people fully ejected are killed.

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A couple of additional Thanksgiving driving tips 

  • Don’t drink and drive. Hopefully this one’s obvious. Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and puts your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other drivers and pedestrians in danger. So think twice about starting that autumnal cocktail or ale before you head home. For more convincing, check out the total price tag of a DUI.
  • Avoid distractions. Your homemade gravy is sliding around in the trunk, your wife spilled the cranberry sauce on her dress, and your kids are arguing over who gets the first slice of pumpkin pie. You feel the need to sort it all out. Don’t (or pull over to a safe spot before you do). Here are 6 simple tips for traveling safely with kids.

So this Thanksgiving, feast away on that turkey, but protect your giblets — be safe and buckle up!

Helpful holiday tips

In case you encounter winter weather during your Thanksgiving travels, you’ll want to be prepared. This guide will help refresh your memory of the best winter driving tips.

Winterize your home:  avoid these 6 extremely unpleasant scenarios.

Related link

Seat belts save lives, everyone knows that. However, the history of the seat belt is a hotly contested issue. This article should clear it up for everyone.

Safe and smart

about Ian

During his time at Esurance, Ian enjoyed carefully crafting coherent copy concerning the complexities of insurance. You could find him outside climbing rocks or taking photographs (or both). He’s also an avid fan of alliteration.