The Washington Post

Half of drivers killed in crashes in 2012 weren’t wearing seat belts



Afternoon traffic on the Capital Beltway near West University Boulevard… (Mark Gail/THE WASHINGTON…)

As a projected 959,900 people from the Washington region prepare to drive somewhere for the long Thanksgiving weekend, law enforcement and safety officials are busy urging people to buckle seat belts and to use a designated driver if drinking is involved.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual data dump of roadway fatalities this month shows why.

Though seat belt use has increased dramatically in recent years, more than half the people killed in accidents in 2012 were not wearing them. And almost one-third of the 33,561 fatal crashes last year involved alcohol. Drinking was found to be a factor in 211 Virginia deaths, 160 Maryland deaths and four District deaths.

“The risk of a serious or deadly crash increases with the number of cars on the road, and the long Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest travel times of the year,” said Maryland Vehicle Administration head John Kuo. “Your seat belt can save your life. Please buckle up and make sure that everyone else in your car is buckled up, as well.”

Col. Marcus L. Brown of the Maryland State Police, said “I urge everyone traveling this holiday season not to drink and drive, to obey the speed limits, and always buckle up so we can all give thanks this holiday season and enjoy the time with loved ones.”


Ashley Halsey reports on national and local transportation.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Miss Manners: The technology's changed, but the rules are the same
Behind a famous and fast steam locomotive
Play Videos
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
How to survive a shark attack
What you need to know about trans fats
Play Videos
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Riding the X2 with D.C.'s most famous rapper
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Robert Thomson · November 26, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.