In the first week of 2018, thirteen people died in South Carolina car crashes. In 2017 there were nine-hundred-and-seventy-three for the whole year. These numbers were provided by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety on January 8th, 2018.
The most staggering statistic about these 13 tragic fatalities is that 7 of those 13 people didn’t have seatbelts. More than half of the people who died in fatal auto collisions were not buckled in.
Driving without a seatbelt is a fatal mistake. It’s simple to avoid, but still very common.
So, what is it about seat belts that has people putting their lives at risk?
You Have a Better Chance of Living Jumping Off of a 4 Story Building
Ninety percent of Americans buckle themselves into their vehicle. If you refuse to wear a seat belt, you should reconsider. Here’s why.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration stated that 13,941 U.S. lives were saved by seat belts in 2015. That’s still 2,804 less than there could have been.
The same statistics released by the NHTSA also stated that 48 percent of the people killed in 2015 crashes were not wearing seatbelts. To put it another way, if you decide not to wear your seat belt and you get in a car accident, you have half a chance of surviving.
Imagine what your loved ones would say if you told them that. If you were standing on a four story building and decided to jump, your survival odds would be better than in a car accident. Would your closest friends want you to jump from the building?
Teenagers Are the Most Likely NOT to Wear Seatbelts
There is no age group suffering from peer pressure than those between the ages of 15 and 18. That’s most likely why more than 58% of teenagers involved in traffic accidents weren’t wearing seat belts in 2015. They just wanted to look cool by being a little rebellious, and they usually think that they’re invincible.
The NHTSA recommends that parents follow the following three rules to help keep their kids safe:
- Tell teens that putting on their seat belt is the easiest and most effective way to protect themselves from dying in a car accident. It’s also illegal to drive without wearing a seat belt, which can get their license suspended. Being cool isn’t quite the same without that shiny new license.
- Set an example for teens by wearing your seatbelt. Teenagers whose parents wear seat belts are more likely to wear them, too. Being a parent that doesn’t buckle up is really just irresponsible.
- Keep reminding your kids to wear their seat belts. Every time they walk out the door, tell them to do it. Don’t ask. Insist.
When it comes down to it, parents have the authority over their children’s driving privileges. If they refuse to listen, it’s your job to put your foot down.
Safe Driving is Every Driver’s Responsibility
With the rise in fatal South Carolina car accidents, it’s more and more important to drive safety. Every driver has a duty to respect the rules of the road, not to mention their fellow humans.
Take it upon yourself to practice safe and proven habits when you get behind the wheel. If you don’t, it could cost you or someone you love their lives.