According to the recently released travel outlook from auto group AAA, as many as 48.7 million Americans plan on traveling during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2007.
In Illinois, 2.5 million people will be traveling for the holiday weekend--an 1.6 percent increase from the previous year. That means 2.3 million will be on the road, according to WLS-AM 890.
Travelers are encouraged to be aware and stay safe during their holiday travels. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provides travel information at its website.To see more: http://www.idot.illinois.gov/travel-information/index.
In particularly, IDOT is urging the public to travel safety--particularly buckling up, following the results of a new statewide survey that showed a slight decrease in seat-belt usage.As part of their efforts, IDOT will be partnering with law enforcement throughout Illinois to increase patrols and promote safety as part of the national "Click It or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaigns.
New observational surveys by IDOT show that the statewide seat belt usage rate for front-seat occupants dropped from 95.2 percent in 2015 to 93 percent in 2016, despite a state law enacted in 2012 that requires all vehicle occupants to wear seat belts. State data show that an estimated 421 lives were saved in Illinois in 2015 because of proper seat belt and child safety seat use.
More than half of all traffic fatalities involve someone not wearing a seat belt, according to IDOT statistics. To encourage every motorist to buckle up and drive sober, hundreds of seat belt enforcement zones, roadside safety checks and saturation patrols will take place during the Thanksgiving holiday period.
“The highways will be busy and motorists and passengers are especially at risk if traffic laws are not followed,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz. “Law enforcement agencies across the state will partner to enforce these laws to keep motorists safe over the holiday.”
Through Nov. 20, 974 people died in crashes this year in Illinois, up from 868 at this same point a year ago. If this trend continues, Illinois will experience the highest amount of traffic fatalities in seven years.