Thanksgiving is a time when families and friends come gather to share a meal and connect; it is also one of the busiest travel weekend 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 Hoye, bureau chief, Iowa Governor’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 is available) the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 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 are ejected from a vehicle in a crash, the odds are high that you will not survive. In 2015 eighty percent of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Only 1 percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected compared to 30 percent of those who were unbuckled. Much like drunk driving these deaths could have been completely prevented with the simple click of a seat belt.


The Story City Police Department, Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau remind you that wearing a seat belt is not just for Thanksgiving — it’s a must every day of the year. “Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time.”