Missouri and St. Louis seat belt use below national average; consistent use would save lives and help Missourians avoid injury

fasten your seat belt.jpgConsistent seat belt use by Missouri residents would save countless lives and prevent numerous unnecessary personal injuries by Missouri residents. Missouri’s “Arrive Alive” campaign, a program developed by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, reports that 70% of Missourians killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seat belt. The chance of being killed in a car crash when not wearing a seat belt is 1 in 29; when you are wearing a seat belt, that number is 1 in 1,322. Buckling up takes just seconds and could save your life; but not doing so could cost you your life.

May 24 through June 6 was Missouri’s “Click it or Ticket Day and Night” campaign, where Missouri law enforcement stepped up efforts to ticket drivers not wearing their seat belts, in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of buckling up. Last year, Missouri officers wrote over 7,000 tickets to drivers and passengers not wearing their seat belts.

Missouri is well below the national average when it comes to seat belt usage, with only 77% of residents reporting using a seat belt. The national average is 84%. Missouri teens have the worst record when it comes to wearing their seat belts; 40% of them do not wear seat belts. 304 teens were killed in traffic accidents in Missouri between 2007 and 2009, and 72% of them were not wearing their seat belt.

Of drivers or passengers who were not injured or killed when involved in an auto accident, 97% of them were wearing their seat belt.

Over the weekend, a man from Union, Missouri was thrown from his van and killed, and he was not wearing his seat belt. The man was driving in Jefferson County when he ran his van off the road and overturned. Although we will never know for sure, this sad situation might have been avoided if he had worn his seat belt. So please take the time when you are in the car to buckle up–doing so might mean the difference between life and death.