Thanksgiving is a time when families and fiends come gather to share a mean and connect; it is also one of the busiest travel weekends of the year. Don’t let your Thanksgiving end in tragedy. “Year after year, we are devastated by stories of family members who are killed on their way to Thanksgiving festivities,” said Pat Hoy, Bureau Chief, Iowa Governor’s’s Traffic Safety Bureau. “Seat belts are the most basic vehicle technology that has, without a doubt, saved the most lives.”


Nationwide, in 2015, (the last year in which data was available) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recorded 301 passenger vehicle occupants as killed in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving weekend and only 50 percent of those killed were buckled. In Iowa there were five fatalities during that time in both 2015 and 2016.


If you were ejected from a vehicle in a crash, the odds are high that you will not survive. In 2015, 80 percent of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Only one percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected compared to 30 percent of those who were unbuckled NHTSA. Mush like drunk driving, these deaths could have been completely prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.


The Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau reminds you that wearing a seat belt is not just for Thanksgiving - it’s a must every day of the year.