Lack of Seat Belts Cited in Nearly Half of Alabama’s Fatal Crashes
About half of all traffic fatalities recorded in Alabama involved those who were not wearing safety belts, according to a study from the University of Alabama Center for Advanced Public Safety.
The Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama analyzed crash data from 2018 to determine 366, nearly half, of the 743 people killed in car crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision.
Further analysis of the data collected suggests the probability of suffering fatal injuries in a collision is close to 50 times greater for an unrestrained vehicle occupant when compared to those vehicle wearing seat belts.
What Are the Real Risks of Not Wearing a Seat Belt?
A vehicle occupant wearing a seat belt faces a 1 in 1,000 chance of dying in an accident. For those who do not wear a seat belt, the chances increase dramatically to 1 in 24.
Choosing to not wear a seat belt also greatly increases the risk that a person will be ejected from a vehicle during a collision, which significantly increases the odds of fatal injury. Researchers estimate the probability of being fatally thrown out of a vehicle at approximately 1 in 5. For those who do not experience fatal injuries, they will typically have serious injuries from the accident.
Why Are Drivers Not Wearing Seat Belts?
According to the study, motorists driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are nine times more likely to drive without seat belts. Those who drive aggressively were also seven-to-eight times more likely to drive without their seat belts.
Drivers involved in collisions in rural areas of the state were three times more likely to not wear a seat belt than those in more urban areas.
Teens Have the Lowest Seat Belt Usage and Highest Car Accident Risks
Unfortunately, teens have the lowest seat belt usage rates among all age groups. As we reported in an earlier blog, approximately 66% of teens who died in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts at the time of impact.
Buckle Up and Save Lives
Your safety is incredibly important, and wearing a seat belt is proven to help save lives. Make sure to think of these alarming statistics, and take two seconds to buckle up every time you are in a car. If friends or family members are with you, make sure they are wearing seat belts as well.
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