Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been 5 fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2019, compared to six for the same time frame in 2018.
During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of your vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.
Data from NHTSA show that nearly half (48%) of the 22,441 occupants killed in crashes in 2015 were unbuckled. In addition, 57 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 40 percent killed during the daytime. Men continue to outnumber women in not wearing seat belts – 52 percent to 42 percent respectively. Pickup truck occupants tend to be the lowest among any other vehicle type in wearing seat belts –59 percent of drivers killed were not wearing a seat belt, compared to 54 percent for SUV drivers, 42 percent for passenger car drivers, and 41 percent for van driver.
Though some believe airbags can replace seat belts in the event of an accident, the force of being thrown into a rapidly opening airbag could injure or even kill. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to maximize safety efforts. Your pelvis and rib cage are more able to withstand crash force than other parts of your body, which is why it’s important to secure your seat belt over these areas. If impact should occur, these areas will be able to take more of the pressure from seat belts and airbags to protect the rest of the body.
Ejection from the vehicle remains one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash. In fatal crashes, about 80 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who were totally ejected from the vehicle were killed. Seat belts are very effective in preventing total ejections.
There are several steps you can take to get the best seat belt fit for your safety. When buying a car, test the belts provided to see if they are a good fit for you. You can talk to your car dealer about options for seat belt adjusters and extenders if necessary. For those with older vehicles, your seat belt may be outdated for current standards. Check with the vehicle manufacturer to determine the best option for you.
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