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Car crashes and seat belt usage

Did you know that car and other vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among those people aged one to 54? Greater than 2.2 million drivers and adult passengers were treated in emergency rooms because of injury due to an accident in 2012. Wearing your safety belt is an excellent and effective way of avoiding injury if you are involved in a car crash; however many adults refuse to wear them.

Believe it or not, non-fatal car injuries had a cost of approximately $50 billion in medical and work loss costs in 2012. Crash-related injuries are a big problem in Oklahoma. As a matter of fact, the young adult population, 18-24 year olds, have the highest crash-related injury rate of all adults.

Of course, seat belts reduce the injury rate and deaths related to all crashes by half. Air bags also give added protection but really cannot substitute for the protection that seat belts offer.

The most likely age group not to wear their seat belts consistently are adults aged 18-34. Over half of 13-20 year olds who died in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Men are 10 percent less likely to wear a seat belt than women and this statistic holds true for those who live in rural areas. About 78 percent of rural drivers and passengers wore their seat belts as opposed to 87 percent of the urban population.

Being involved in a car accident can cause injury. If you have been involved in one you know how harrowing this type of crash can be. Wearing a seat belt can help prevent injury and worse. However, sometimes, no matter what you do, you are injured because of someone else's careless driving.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Seat Belts: Get the Facts," accessed Aug. 05, 2015

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