SALINAS, Calif. - As many drivers prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, Salinas Police want to remind drivers to stay safe on the roads.
The holiday season means family, food, and fun for most people, but for Salinas Police, it's not always as nice. So as millions of people begin traveling to get to their holiday destinations, the Salinas Police Department is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety to remind everyone to buckle up, every trip, every time.
In 2015, California saw 42 traffic fatalities during the Thanksgiving weekend. About half of those fatalities in the state and nationwide involved drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelt, a scary statistic for something so preventable.
Traffic Sgt. Gerry Ross said, "Even though, over 95 percent of the people in California buckle up, almost half the people that die in fatal crashes are not buckled. So if we can get everybody to buckle up, that would really cut down that number and our goal is to get that number to zero!"
In addition to not wearing seatbelts, 18 of the 42 California fatalities in 2015 involved alcohol.
The Office of Transportation Safety has a message for drivers, saying “dui doesn't just mean booze. Prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol, and can result in a dui arrest."
Salinas PD said drivers should be extra careful while driving at night. Nationally, 57-percent of holiday accidents occurred when the sun goes down.