Provisional numbers released Monday by the Ohio Highway Patrol show there were 13 people killed on Ohio's roadways this Thanksgiving holiday -- two fewer than the four-year average.
During the reporting period, which began at 12 a.m. Nov. 27, and ran through 11:59 p.m. Dec. 1, 13 people were killed in 11 crashes. That is an increase from last year, when 12 people were killed in nine crashes
Of the 13 killed, seven were not wearing an available safety belt, three were killed in two alcohol- or drug-related crashes and one pedestrian was killed.
"Even though we are encouraged that OVI-related fatalities decreased this holiday, lack of safety belt usage remains a significant problem area," said highway patrol superintendent Col. Paul A. Pride.
"Motorists need to remember that wearing a safety belt is the single most important thing they can do to protect themselves during a crash."
The Patrol arrested 503 drivers on drunken driving charges during the holiday weekend, a nearly 9 percent increase over last year's holiday.
Provisional statistics through November of this year show that alcohol-related fatal crashes are down with 277 killed in 2013, compared to 468 when compared to the same time period in 2012.
dditionally, those killed while not wearing an available safety belt has also declined during the same period with 379 this year and 531 in 2012.