In addition to the 13 fatalities, 349 people were injured in the 1,124 crashes to which troopers responded during the official holiday driving period, covering Wednesday, Nov. 21, through Sunday, Nov. 25.
Five of the people killed were not wearing seat belts and two of the 13 fatal crashes were alcohol-related. Overall, 86 of the 1,124 total crashes were alcohol-related.
“Drivers must insist that all passengers wear a seat belt -- they work best when everyone is buckled and children are properly restrained in the back seat,’’ Noonan said.
State law requires that children under the age of 4 ride in a federally-approved car seat that is appropriate for the child's age, height and weight. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 must use a booster seat if they are no longer in a car seat. State law also requires children between the ages of 8 and 18 to use a seatbelt whenever they are riding in a vehicle, regardless of seating position.
Last year, 10 people were killed and 326 others were injured in 1,007 crashes investigated by state police during the same five-day Thanksgiving holiday driving period.
During this year's holiday driving period, state police issued 9,020 speeding citations, charged 509 people with driving under the influence, cited 1,115 for not wearing seat belts and issued citations to 124 for not securing children in safety seats.
The crash numbers cover only those incidents investigated by state police and do not include statistics on crashes to which other law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania responded.