Rick Smith, Chief of Police
1 Union St.
Wakefield, MA 01880
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Wakefield Police Remind Residents to Travel Safely This Thanksgiving
WAKEFIELD — As Thanksgiving approaches and travelers hit the busy roads, Chief Rick Smith and the Wakefield Police Department would like to remind residents to drive safely.
“Traveling this week for the holiday is one of the busiest times of the year, so please plan accordingly,” Chief Smith said. “Be cognizant of your surroundings and take your time on the road. We would hate to see anyone involved in an accident that could ruin what is meant to be a joyous time with family and friends.”
In 2012, the most recent nationwide stats available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that a total of 416 people died in traffic crashes during the Thanksgiving Holiday period in 2012, and 42 percent of those deaths were caused by crashes involving a drunken driver.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 40 percent of traffic fatalities that occur during the holidays involve a driver who is alcohol-impaired, compared to 31 percent for the rest of the year.
To keep travelers safe, Chief Smith offers the following safety tips from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
Buckle Up, Drive Sober and Pay Attention
- Never drive drunk or drive distracted. In every state, it is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.
- Be sure to have a designated driver to ensure that you and your family members are safe at all times in the motor vehicle.
- If you smell or see anyone with an alcoholic beverage, do not get into the car with them or let the person drive.
- Plan your travel and route by checking the weather, road conditions, and traffic. Leave early, if necessary, and allow plenty of time to safely get to your destination.
- Carry items in your vehicle that may prove useful in the event of an emergency or if you get stranded, including: snow shovel, broom, ice scraper, jumper cables, flashlight, flares/emergency markers, blankets, mobile phone with charger, water, food, and any necessary medicine
- If you become stranded, don’t run your vehicle with the windows up or in an enclosed space for an extended period of time to avoid asphyxiation from carbon monoxide poisoning. If you must run your vehicle, clear the exhaust pipe of any snow and run it only sporadically – just long enough to stay warm.
For additional tips and information please visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website or call the Wakefield Police Department at 781-245-1212.