April 20, 2024

Buckle up and drive safe

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This archived article was written by: Morgan Verdi

The importance of wearing seat belts is something everyone grows up hearing about. Parents spend the necessary extra time to seatbelt their children in properly. As children get older, parents constantly remind them to put on their seat belts. However, as children grow up and start driving, the habit of fastening a seat belt starts to fade.
The reality of how important seat belts are hit home for everyone at USU Eastern. Of the three car accidents that occurred recently, three of the five students were not wearing seat belts.
Each year about 33,000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 11 through 27 in the United States. With 45 to 60 percent effectiveness, seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing the risk of death in a crash and have saved nearly 300,000 lives since 1975 in the U.S. alone.
Buckling up is the most important safety measure a person can take to protect them in a crash. It helps keep them safe and secure inside their vehicle. Seat belts are also the best defense against impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers.

According to NHTSA, the overall seat belt use rate in 2013 was 87 percent.

Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. In light trucks, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.

According to Zero Fatalities, seatbelt use isn’t just a personal decision; it affects everyone in the vehicle and others on the road. The most common contributing factor to roadway fatalities was a failure to buckle up. “The best thing a person can do to keep from becoming a statistic on Utah’s fatality chart is to wear a seatbelt.”

The top five driving behaviors that ended lives in Utah in 2013 included drowsy driving, distracted driving, aggressive driving, impaired driving with the number one cause of death was improper restraint. The importance of seat belts is immense. Death and serious injury can be avoided by simply buckling up. If doing something so simple can save lives shouldn’t it be done? Buckle up. Be safe. Save lives.