One of the frustrations of working traffic accidents on a daily basis is seeing the number of people who become needlessly injured in what should be minor accidents, just because they were not wearing their seat belts. The lack of seat belt usage is obvious to the traffic officer when he arrives on scene and sees the typical pattern on the windshield where the vehicle occupants struck the windshield with their heads. The victim's injuries are often disfiguring due to cuts on their face and heads from the broken glass.
According to Joyce Shaul, the Director of the Missouri Division of Highway Safety, "Your chances of being involved in a traffic crash is virtually 100%. People have been killed in traffic crashes less than a mile from home and at speeds as low as 12 mph. By using the vehicle's safety belt system, you can reduce your chance of being killed or injured by up to 70%."
A Real Danger
Traffic statistics may just be numbers to some people, but responding to a low-speed accident and watching paramedics treat a vehicle driver with facial injuries, while others treat the vehicle's passenger who was thrown from the vehicle into the street, will make a seat belt believer out of you. Over a thousand people are killed in traffic crashes in Missouri every year. The majority of those killed are unbuckled. Safety belts and child restraint systems are the best defense in a traffic crash. These simple devices have been proven effective in saving lives. I always wear my seat belt, and make sure the people I care about wear theirs. Please buckle up.