Surviving your Thanksgiving drive this year, and making it to next Thanksgiving, can be as simple as buckling up. In the last decade, seat belts saved the lives of more than 100,000 people in the United States. Those people are thankful they wore their seat belts. Won’t you wear yours?

This Thanksgiving, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and North Riverside Police Dept. highway safety advocates and law enforcement officers across the state are spreading the message by reminding travelers on our roadways to drive carefully and defensively, do not drive impaired and, most importantly, buckle up.

IDOT is proud that Illinois has a 94.1 percent daytime seat belt usage rate. However, far too many drivers and passengers still do not buckle up. Remember – wearing your seat belt is your best defense against an impaired driver.

Nationwide in 2012, during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, there were 301 people killed in traffic crashes. Tragically, 60 percent of those killed were not buckled up.

It is such a simple fix to save your life and the life of a loved one. Yet, too many people do not buckle up, and unfortunately, deaths which could have been prevented keep occurring every day.

That is why North Riverside Police Dept. is joining IDOT and law enforcement agencies in supporting an aggressive Click It or Ticket campaign from November 17-30. We want all drivers and passengers, front and back seat, to Click It or Ticket, day and night – and remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

These deaths are unnecessary and preventable. Be careful on the roads and don’t let this Thanksgiving end in tragedy. Insist on proper seat belt use by everyone with whom you travel. As of January 1, 2012, everyone, no matter the age or seating position, is required by law, in Illinois, to wear a seat belt. Children are required to ride in a car seat or booster seat until at least age 8.

Remember: Click It or Ticket! You’ll be thankful you did.