Make It to the Table This Thanksgiving. Click It or Ticket.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

This Thanksgiving holiday, millions of drivers will hit our roads to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Region 7 is joining the State Highway Safety Offices in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska to share an important lifesaving reminder: Click It or Ticket.  Because the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busiest for the United States, more drivers will be on the roads than usual, increasing the likelihood of a motor vehicle crash.  During this kickoff to the holiday season, the importance of seat belt safety could not be clearer.

During the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend (6 p.m. Wednesday, November 25, to 5:59 a.m. Monday, November 30), 333 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide—more than half (52%) were unrestrained.  No matter the time of day, driving without a seat belt is deadly.  During that same Thanksgiving weekend, 51% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes at night were unbuckled, compared to 55% during the day.

“Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating gratitude with loved ones, and we want to make sure our community members arrive at their Thanksgiving destinations as safely as possible,” said Regional Administrator Susan DeCourcy.  “Whether you’re driving 10 minutes or 10 hours to enjoy a meal with family or friends, it’s critical that drivers and passengers know to Click It or Ticket.  Seat belts saved the lives of nearly 2,000 people in our region over a two-year stretch—a number that will only go up if more people wear their seat belts this holiday weekend.  We want everyone to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, so please, make sure everyone in your vehicle is buckled before you even turn on the car—and that includes children being in the correct car seats, too,” DeCourcy added.

The facts don't lie: If you’re ejected from a vehicle during a crash, odds are that you will not survive.  In 2020, more than 4 out of 5 (82%) passenger vehicle occupants ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed.  Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection.  Only 1% of passenger vehicle occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes in 2020, compared to 26% of those who were unrestrained.

Research from NHTSA also reveals that males are more likely to be unbuckled than females in a fatal crash and that younger drivers are also at greater risk of being unbuckled.  Nationwide, in 2020, 55% of the males killed in crashes were not buckled up at the time of the crash, compared to 43% of females.  The 18-34-year-old age group had one of the highest percentages (60%) of occupants killed who were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the fatal crash.

We want you to make it to the table this Thanksgiving.  Make sure you and all passengers fasten your seat belts so you can have a happy holiday weekend.  For more information about traveling safely this Thanksgiving, please visit