Too Much Turkey is No Excuse for Not Tightening Your Belt

Harford County Sheriff’s Office Urges Drivers and Passengers to Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time.

(Harford County, MD – November 22, 2010) – With the holidays upon us and millions of Americans hitting the roads, the Harford County Sheriff's Office wants everyone to arrive safely at their destinations. They want drivers and passengers alike to remember, Buckle Up America. Every Trip. Every Time.

"Many of us over-indulge in holiday goodies and loosen our belts a little after dinner," said Harford County Sheriff L. Jesse Bane. "But remember, there's nothing that should keep you from tightening your seat belt when you get in a motor vehicle. The potential consequences are just too great."

While seat belt use is at a record high of 85% nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on any given day about 38 people who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes.

In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.

The 2008 Thanksgiving holiday season was no different; from Monday, November 17 to Monday, December 1, 2008, 1,120 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. Tragically, more than half of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, where restraint use was known. "The message that seat belts save lives is getting through to people and fewer and fewer are dying each year," said Bane. "Sadly, too many people still fail to heed the warning and ignore the evidence that failure to buckle up can turn the happiest of holidays into a nightmare."

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

For more information about highway safety during Thanksgiving, please visit

Media Release

November 22, 2010


  • Monica A. Worrell

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