Law Enforcement Report

Yalobushians Urged To Buckle Up For Safety

More Americans are buckling up than ever before, with 83 percent of vehicle occupants using seatbelts during daylight hours. In 2007, 82 percent used seat belts.

“More and more Americans are realizing that the mere seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between life and death,” Yalobusha County Sheriff’s Deputy Foster reported.

31,963 Reasons To Wear Your Seat Belt

In fact, a recent NHTSA study shows that 48 million stubborn drivers, that’s 18 percent of all drivers in the country, still refuse to buckle up. Most offenders fall under three categories: young males, those in rural areas and drivers of pick-up trucks. But if they don’t want to do it on their own, local governments will make them buckle up.

As part of a new version of the Click it or Ticket campaign, officers are aggressively enforcing safety belt laws and they’re not shy about giving out tickets.

On its first edition, this successful campaign was credited for the reduction of car accident deaths in several states, like Illinois, where figures dropped to a 60-year low.

Research shows that in spite of new car technologies and protection gear, seat belts are still the number one safety device. This life-saving gadget works through a complex extend and retract system.

Wear Your Seatbelt

Scientifically speaking, a seat belt stops your inertia. What this means is, that if a car is going 80 miles per hour and stops suddenly, a seat belt will keep you from hitting the windshield of the car at 80 miles per hour.

People are a vehicle’s most valuable content and seatbelts keep people in place. In a crash, unbelted passengers will fly toward the point of impact, colliding with anything in their path, like dashboards, windshield or steering wheels with several pounds of moving force. While it’s dangerous to smash into a dashboard or windshield, it can be deadly to be “thrown clear.”     

Thrown clear of what? Telephone poles, trees, or oncoming traffic?

Thrown through what?

The windshield or door? Airborne objects maintain momentum as they sail, without the option of where or how they land. In a collision, passengers launched from a vehicle are 25 times more likely to die.

In a vehicle accident, the safest place to be is inside the vehicle, attached to the vehicle’s seat. It’s the seatbelt that keeps passengers in place. In a collision, the one part of the vehicle that stays reasonable intact, no matter how battered its outsides might be, is the vehicle’s seats.

For high speeds, nighttime driving, and bad weather many passengers do buckle up, but the fact is that most fatalities occur in dry, sunny weather, at speeds under 40 miles per hour and within 25 miles of work or home.

Child Restraint / Seat Belt

Although Mississippi law requires the use of child restraints, half of the children traveling by automobile are not restrained. On average, 27 children die each year in Mississippi in motor vehicle crashes. Most of them were not properly restrained. Buckle for Life’s goal is to help improve these numbers in Mississippi. It is estimated that increasing the use of child restraints by 50 percent would save the lives of 10 children each year and would save $3.5 million in emergency department and hospitalization costs. Mississippi has an estimated 95 percent misuse rate for child passenger safety seats.

Child Passenger Safety Law

Mississippi law requires the following while traveling in private passenger vehicles:

• all children under four years of age be in child safety seats

• every driver and every front seat passenger must wear a properly fastened safety seat belt system that meets each person’s age and weight requirements

• every child who is at least four years of age but under eight years of age, regardless of the location inside the vehicle, must wear a properly fastened safety seat belt system that meets each child’s age and weight requirements

BUCKLE UP, YALOBUSHA, it is a law.

This tip is brought to you by The Yalobusha County Sheriff’s office.

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