MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Thanksgiving is two days away and many of you are already hitting the road. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) says this time of year is the busiest for roadways.
GOHS Director, Harry Blackwood says 1,357 people have been killed on the roads in Georgia, so far this year. That’s one person every 5.75 hours.
Mark McDonough, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety says Thanksgiving is the most heavily traveled holiday.
“Right before you even put the key in the ignition, put your seat belt on,” said McDonough.
You can’t control every accident, but GOHS says, having your seat belt on can make a difference.
“Of the 1357 people, over 55% of them were either not wearing seat belts or we can’t determine if they were wearing seat belts,” said Blackwood. “I can’t say with assurance that all of them would have survived, but I certainly like the odds.”
When you are on the road, pay attention. Avoid all distractions, especially your phone. McDonough says all it takes is a second.
“If your eyes aren’t on the road way and they’re fixated on something else, you’ll never see it coming,” said McDonough. “You’ll never have that opportunity to hit the brakes and move out of the way.”
GOHS also says don’t drink and drive.
“Alcohol plays a role in 1 in 4 of those crashes,” said Blackwood.
Have a plan and make some time, everyone wants to get home to this holiday.
“There are 1357 families who have an empty place at their Thanksgiving table this year,” said Blackwood. “We want people to go and enjoy this holiday, family and friends, but we want them to come back safely.”
During the 5 day Thanksgiving holiday last year, Georgia Department of Transportation says there were 5,011 traffic accidents. Of those, 20 people died. That was a 43% increase from 2015
Georgia State Patrol also wants you to be cautious with construction going on the interstates. Go the speed the limit, and give the car in front of you some space. Most of those accidents happen because the car behind was too close.