Recent fatal crashes emphasize need for seatbelts

Thursday, November 13, 2008

According to preliminary reports from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 10 people died in Missouri traffic crashes, Nov. 6-9. Nine of the victims were not wearing a seatbelt and in one instance, seatbelt use at the time of the crash remained undetermined. In six of the crashes, the victims who died were ejected from the vehicle. Eight of the crashes involved vehicles leaving the roadway and striking an object and/or overturning.

None of the fatal crashes took place in Vernon County.

Nevertheless, in the wake of these tragedies, Colonel James F. Keathley, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, is reminding the public of the importance of driving attentively and wearing a seatbelt.

The patrol wants to remind motorists of the upcoming holiday seasons.

Many Missourians will be traveling to visit friends and family at some time during the next few months. Drivers are urged to pay attention to the job of driving, and to buckle up. Inattention continues to be the leading cause of traffic crashes in Missouri. This, coupled with not wearing a seatbelt, greatly increases the risk of a traffic crash being fatal. In 2007, a driver in a Missouri traffic crash had a one in 32 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a seatbelt. In those cases where a driver wore a seatbelt, their chance of being killed was 1 in 1,294.

"Seatbelt laws were enacted to save lives. It takes three seconds to buckle up. Take time to protect yourself and those you love. Make sure everyone in your vehicle uses a seat belt or an appropriate child restraint," the patrol said.

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