Estimate from the National Safety Council is that 383 traffic fatalities and another 46,300 medically consulted injuries may occur this holiday.
"Memorial Day is the unofficial start of summer fun for families around the country, but unfortunately, the long holiday weekend will end with death and injury for far too many," said Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "These tragedies are completely preventable. We issue these estimates to make drivers aware of the risks on the roadways and encourage them to be especially cautious this weekend."
The most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2014 reports that an estimated 87 percent of vehicle occupants wear seat belts. The 13 percent of drivers and passengers in cars and light trucks who do not wear belts accounted for 44.7 percent of fatalities in 2014. It is estimated that 140 lives may be saved Memorial Day Weekend because of people wearing their seat belts and an additional 95 lives could be saved if all wore safety belts.
In Florida, the Department of Transportation (FDOT) reminds drivers to buckle up for Click It or Ticket.
Click It or Ticket is a national safety belt enforcement campaign, which begins May 18 and runs through May 31. During this time, law enforcement agencies will be stepping up efforts to deter motorists who are not wearing safety belts.
“Safety belts save thousands of lives each year, making them the most effective safety feature ever invented,” said FDOT Chief Safety Officer Lora Hollingsworth. “We want to shed light on the importance of wearing a safety belt for the safety and lives of motorists.”
The message is being heard. Florida’s statewide safety belt use rate measured 88.8 percent during 2014, the highest level to date. Florida's statewide safety belt use rate has been above the national average every year since implementing a primary safety belt law in 2009 which allows law enforcement to ticket drivers who are not buckled up. The use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 662 lives in Florida during 2013.