Whether traveling to holiday get-togethers or other places, motorists always should put safety first.

One proven way to do so should never be ignored, whether during a cross-country journey or a short trip in town.

The Kansas Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies again are warning Kansans about the importance of buckling up, and have shared more sobering statistics related to the danger of travel without wearing a seat belt.

Statistics nationwide prove the benefit of seat-belt use. In 2015, seat belts reportedly saved the lives of nearly 14,000 people involved in passenger vehicle crashes. An estimated 2,800 others would have been saved if wearing a seat belt, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Unfortunately, too many people still resist. Some balk because of stubbornness in resisting a governmental mandate — even one put in place to keep them safe. Others who don’t comply simply consider buckling up annoying or inconvenient.

Those are poor excuses. Plus, adults always should be mindful of setting an example with children who rely on their parents and guardians to protect them.

Law enforcement officers are driving home the importance of following the law.

As part of the annual “Click it, or Ticket” campaign, authorities in Kansas are stepping up enforcement on the roadways during the holiday season, and will be ready to penalize anyone who isn't wearing their seat belt, or fails to use proper child-seat restraints for youngsters.

The safety-minded initiatives don’t end with the enforcement of seat-belt violations. Law enforcement officers also will place more focus on speeding and driving under the influence.

When it comes to alcohol consumption, the holidays present plenty of temptations. Overindulging can prove perilous for anyone who gets behind the wheel, as well as those in their path. During the five-day Thanksgiving holiday seasons from 2012 to 2016, some 188 alcohol-related crashes resulted in 109 injuries and four fatalities in Kansas, according to AAA Kansas.

Law enforcement authorities know firsthand the horrible consequences of bad decisions, and offer a simple lesson: Many tragedies can be prevented.

Be safe on the road this holiday season and beyond.