March 9, 2016 11:10 am
Tragically, some traffic accidents are unavoidable. However, wearing your seat belt will help prevent needless injuries in many important ways. For instance, safety devices help prevent ejection in a crash, allow the body to slow down gradually and also help to protect the head and spinal cord.
Still need more convincing? Here are some sobering facts about seat belt use:
- Conducted by the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a study of Florida crash statistics concluded that drivers and passengers who didn't buckle up were approximately 14 times more likely to die in a traffic crash than those who wore their safety belts.
- Nearly 245,000 Floridians were injured or killed during the year 2000 in traffic crashes.
- Studies show that 69.5 percent of Floridians use their seat belts, which is below the national average of 73 percent.
- Increasing the seat belt usage rate in Florida to the national average of 73 percent would save an estimated 83 lives and prevent 1,740 injuries in just one year.
- A total of 524,000 Floridians were involved in traffic crashes in 2000. Of those not buckled up, just 51.6 percent avoided injury. However, of those who were buckled up, 64.1 percent avoided injury.
- Being involved in a traffic crash while unbelted doesn't just affect the injured person. We all pay through higher health care costs and insurance rates.
With terrorism and other global events weighing on all of our minds, it's easy to become distracted while on the road. So please remember: Florida law makes failure to wear a seat belt a secondary offense. That means any driver who's pulled over for another violation and is found to not be buckled up can be issued a seat belt citation. More importantly, motorists and their passengers who don't use their seat belts are needlessly risking injury and death.
The Volusia County Sheriff's Office is committed to the safety of our citizens and the motoring public. Buckling up isn't a choice. It's the law, and it saves lives!