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Illinois Country Living

Ken Macken
Ken Macken is
Manager of Safety and Loss Control

Safety & Health:

A Few Scary Statistics on Seatbelts
Click it in your car and on the farm

Vehicular accidents are horrible and this writer would be fine if he never saw or heard of another one.

Perhaps you saw in the news information about a recent crash on Interstate 44 near Miami, Okla., where a semi plowed into the back of several parked vehicles on the Interstate. Ten people lost their lives that day in that terrible accident. When my family and I travel home for holidays or vacations we travel right by that part of Interstate 44.

If you are driving for vacation, or just driving to the next field on your farm, there are a few reminders that we should all keep in mind as we crawl into that vehicle. One extremely large matter of importance is the use of your seatbelt.

Let’s do all we can to eliminate as much risk as we can when it comes to safely traveling in our motor vehicles, which also includes farm machinery. When it comes to that farm machinery the rule of thumb is, if it has a seatbelt, click it.

Here are some important safety belt statistics from the Public Information Office, Division of Motor Vehicles, Richmond, Va., that we all need to keep in mind each and every time we crawl behind the wheel of a motor vehicle:

• One out of every five drivers will be involved in a traffic crash this year.

• Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people age 44 and younger and

the number one cause of head and spinal cord injury.

• Approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. About 50 percent of those people could be saved if they wore their safety belts.

• For every one percent increase in safety belt use, 172 lives and close to an estimated $100 million in annual injury and death cost could be saved.

• Safety belts, when used properly, reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent.

• Safety belts should be fastened before going any distance and any speed. Nearly 75 percent of crash deaths and injuries occur within 25 miles of one’s home. Most injury-producing motor vehicle crashes involve low speeds under 40 m.p.h.

• Motorists are 25 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured when they are “thrown clear” than when remain inside their vehicles.

• Safety belt use is one of the best defenses against the unpredictable actions of a drunk driver.

These are just a few statistics that probably should remind us all of safe use of the restraint systems within our vehicles and farm machinery. There are many more but I believe the point is made.

Let’s all be as safe as we can out on the roads and fields of our great state of Illinois.

Let’s prevent unnecessary injury or worse by simply making our seat belts click. I know it won’t prevent every accident, but there’s no question it willkeep you and the ones you love a bit more safe.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you driving safely out on the highways and byways.



For More Information:

Ken Macken is Manager of Safety and Loss Control for the Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives. 217-241-7933.




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