The Worth County Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to buckle up before busy Thanksgiving holiday travel period

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office is joining the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to remind drivers and passengers before the start of the Thanksgiving holiday travel period to not risk a ticket by always remembering to click it with their seat belt.

The Worth County Sheriff’s Office is joining sheriff’s offices, police departments and the Georgia State Patrol to enforce seat belt, speeding, DUI, distracted driving and all traffic laws during the extended holiday weekend with the goal of reducing traffic crashes, deaths and injuries.

“The safety of our county residents, and those visiting our area, are our number one concern during this holiday season. I urge everyone driving to and from Worth County to use the utmost caution. Please “buckle up before you crank up,” stated Worth County Sheriff Don Whittaker.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that seat belts saved almost 15,000 lives in the United States last year and another 2,500 lives could have been saved had those who were killed as the result of a traffic crash been wearing a seat belt.

Research shows that persons who are riding in the front seat and wearing a seat belt reduce their risk of a fatal injury in a traffic crash by 45 percent and those who buckle up in a light truck reduce their risk of a fatal injury in the event of a crash by 60 percent.

While Georgia’s observed daytime seat belt use rate is among the highest at the country at over 95 percent, more than half the people killed in passenger vehicle crashes in the state last year were not buckled up according to preliminary data from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

“No one wants to be in a wreck, but wearing a seat belt does give you the best chance of surviving a traffic crash because vehicle safety systems are designed with all occupants being buckled,” Governor’s Office of Highway Safety Director Allen Poole said.  “With the increase in speeding we have seen on our roads during the pandemic this year, it is important to make sure that everyone in your vehicle, especially children, are properly buckled.”

While many families may be staying at home during this holiday season due to the pandemic, The Worth County Sheriff’s Office and the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety offer these safety reminders:

  1. Make sure your tires are safe for the road and have vehicle serviced if needed.
  2. Be patient and allow extra time for your trip.
  3. Do not try to make up time by speeding.  
  4. Make sure everyone is wearing a seat belt before getting on the road.
  5. Avoid distractions like phones, conversations, eating and grooming.
  6. Take breaks when tired and alternate driving on long trips
  7. Never get behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.