/PRNewswire/ -- The fifth annual national observance of Drive Safer Sunday in America is set for Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, when Road Safe America urges motorists across the USA again to focus on driving more safely to avoid becoming a statistic on the busiest highway traffic day of the year.
The annual observance, supported by state and congressional resolutions, thousands of motorists, truckers and the news media, was launched on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2005 by Atlanta-based Road Safe America.
The American Automobile Association is projecting a 1.4 percent increase in Thanksgiving travel this year, although fewer people are expected to travel by air due to budget concerns, reduced airline capacity and added charges. AAA estimates 38.4 million people will be traveling at least 50 miles next weekend. AAA projects 86 percent of travelers will drive.
"The death of almost 40,000 people a year in more than 6 million highway crashes in America is an unchecked epidemic in this country," said Stephen C. Owings of Atlanta, co-founder of Road Safe America along with his wife, Susan.
The Owings founded Road Safe America after their son, Cullum, was killed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2002 when his car - stopped in an interstate traffic jam - was crushed from behind by a speeding tractor trailer truck on cruise control going 7 mph over the posted speed limit.
Statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation show almost 1,000 truckers and about 4,000 auto drivers and passengers are killed in wrecks involving heavy commercial vehicles every year.
Road Safe America urges all of the motorists who will be traveling back home, or to school, that day to remember how dangerous a day it is and to be particularly careful. Stay alert, buckle up, drive slowly as well as defensively, and give heavy commercial vehicles plenty of room since they can't see, maneuver or stop as well as smaller vehicles. We also encourage all drivers to stay off of their communications devices, which are so dangerously distracting.
During this year's observance of Drive Safer Sunday, Road Safe America will honor Robert F. Dallas, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety in Georgia. Bob's support of the Road Safe America cause and especially Drive Safer Sunday has been broad and effective since the very beginning of the organization's efforts.
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