Florida roads will be crowded during the Thanksgiving travel season, and highway officials are reminding motorists that the best way to ensure a safe arrival is to buckle up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 337 people were killed in car crashes nationwide during the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday weekend, which is why the NHTSA has issued a Seat Belt Safety Notice for Turkey Day travelers.

Reports also reveal that more than half of the victims – 55 percent – were unrestrained at the time of the crash.

Following are some Thanksgiving travel tips:

  • Plan ahead. Many more people than usual are on the roads visiting family and friends. Expect heavy traffic and slower going.
  • Reduce the dangers. When seat belts are worn properly, the total risk of front seat passenger car occupants sustaining fatal injuries is reduced by 45 percent, while the risk of serious to modern injuries is reduced by 50 percent.
  • Drive during the day if possible. Overnight is the most dangerous driving time. In 2010, 10,647 passenger car occupants nationwide were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 5:59 a.m. Sixty-one percent were not wearing their seat belts at the time these fatal crashes occurred.
  • Contact an attorney. If you are in a vehicle crash, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to pay for replacement transportation, medical treatment and lost income.

Seat belts are an insurance policy. The NHTSA says seat belts saved more than 12,500 lives nationwide during 2010 alone.

Free Case Evaluation From a Treasure Coast Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a family member has been hurt in a car, motorcycle, truck, boating or other accident, you are entitled to a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Florida motor vehicle accident lawyer. Call Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, toll free at 888-649-6095 or use this online form. His office serves clients in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, including Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, Palm Beach, Okeechobee, and Vero Beach.