The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 798 people may be killed on the roadways during the upcoming holidays; 371 during the Christmas holiday driving period, and an additional 427 during the New Year’s holiday driving period.

That number would likely be significantly higher if not for seat belts, which are estimated to save more than 310 lives over the same driving periods. In 2020, 90 percent of front seat passengers used seat belts. If 100 percent of seated occupants wear their seat belts, it’s estimated an additional 180 lives could be saved over the holidays.

Alcohol is typically involved in 38 percent of fatalities during the Christmas Day holiday period and 36 percent of fatalities during the New Year’s Day holiday period.

NSC urges each person in every seat to buckle up, ensure car seats are properly installed and designate a sober and drug-free driver or arrange alternative transportation.

“This holiday season, I urge every person on the road to take safety personally and focus on making it home safely to celebrate and make memories with loved ones,” said Lorraine Martin, NSC president and CEO. “We can all do our part by buckling up, driving sober, slowing down, avoiding distractions and looking out for one another.”