Pennsylvania law enforcement had prepared for the beginning of the holiday travel season last week. Thanksgiving weekend has traditionally been the busiest holiday weekend for travelers out on the road.

Their concern was that with so many families choosing to drive instead of fly, the likelihood of car accidents would increase. Pennsylvania State Police have released the traffic statistics from this past holiday weekend.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday travel period, from Wednesday to Sunday, 17 people were killed in car accidents, a number much higher than last year when only three were killed during the same period of time.

Similarly, while there were around 900 crashes last year, police reported over 1,100 vehicle crashes this year. There have been no statements made as to why the number of traffic incidents has increased from last year. It could be that there are just more cars out on the road.

Police officers gave out a number of traffic tickets this weekend, mostly for speeding. However, a large number of people were cited for not wearing their seatbelts or properly restraining small children. Wearing a seatbelt can save a life, an observation made clear by the fact that more than half of the fatalities involved people who were not wearing their seatbelts.

It is slightly alarming that so many vehicle crashes occurred this past weekend. Car accidents can be destructive, especially if a driver is intoxicated behind the wheel or is excessively speeding. It can make the roads dangerous for everyone.

Hopefully as the holiday season continues, drivers will take greater steps to drive safely.

Source: York Daily Record online, “State police: 17 killed in crashes over Thanksgiving,” 29 November 2010