Providence Personal Injury Lawyer Urges Caution On Rhode Island's Highways During Thanksgiving Season

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Law enforcement officials practice zero tolerance on drunk driving, as well as child restraint and seat belt violations, says Providence, Rhode Island personal injury attorney Mark W. Gemma.

In my practice, I see the damage done by people driving when drunk, drowsy or distracted. The risk goes up with holiday driving. Be sober, alert and careful

The best way for Americans to ensure they enjoy this Thanksgiving break is to match the abundance on the table with an abundance of caution on the highway, says a leading Rhode Island personal injury lawyer.

“In my practice, I see the damage done by people driving when drunk, drowsy or distracted. The risk goes up with holiday driving. Be sober, alert and careful,” says Mark W. Gemma of Gemma Law Associates of Providence, RI.

The Thanksgiving break brings the highest traffic volume of the year. State police measure it as a 102-hour holiday period starting at 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 24th, through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, November 28th.

During that time the Rhode Island State Police will be maintaining high visibility with patrols targeting impaired or intoxicated drivers, seat belt and child restraint violations, aggressive drivers, speeding violations, texting violations and other traffic violations.

“Troopers will practice zero tolerance with regard to impaired, drunk or drugged drivers, as well as child restraint and seat belt violations," said Colonel Brendan P. Doherty, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, in a prepared statement.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is putting a special emphasis this holiday on seatbelt use. According to NHTSA, when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.

While seat belt use is at a record high of 85 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up when they get in a motor vehicle. On any given day, NHTSA reports, about 38 passenger vehicle occupants who are not buckled up are killed in motor vehicle crashes.

In 2008 alone, nearly 13,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways, the agency says. It is estimated that nearly one third of these lives could have been saved if they had been properly belted. NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle up are teens, young adults, males, nighttime riders, motorists traveling on rural roads and individuals traveling in pickup trucks.

“Buckling your seatbelt is such an easy step you can take to stay safe during the holidays,” Gemma said. “Take a minute to put on your seatbelt and make sure you arrive safely at your destination.”

About Gemma Law Associates, Inc.

Gemma Law Associates, Inc., is a Providence, Rhode Island, personal injury law firm that has represented the people of Rhode Island for more than 48 years while earning a reputation for success in several practice areas, including drunk driving accidents, car accidents, personal injury, workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, divorce, criminal defense and bankruptcy law. The law firm’s staff works as a team to ensure success in cases and is backed by a state-of-the-art collection of resources, including an advanced computerized case management system and an extensive legal library.

The firm represents clients throughout the state of Rhode Island, including Providence, Pawtucket, Warwick, Washington County and Newport County. To learn more about Gemma Law Associates, Inc., call (401) 467-2300 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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