|SOBRIETY SEATBELTS SPEED DISTRACTIONS|
In a local survey of Allen County teens, about three out of four say they always wear their seat belt. The rest put themselves at grave risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
■ In 2001, the estimated economic cost of police-reported crashes involving drivers between 15 and 20 years old was $42.3 billion.
■ Safety belts saved more than 12,000 American lives in 2001. Yet, during that same year, nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes were unrestrained.
■ Research has shown that lap/shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent. For light truck occupants, safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.
■ Safety belts should always be worn, even when riding in vehicles equipped with air bags. Air bags are designed to work with safety belts, not alone. Air bags, when not used with safety belts, have a fatality-reducing effectiveness rate of only 12 percent.
■ Safety belt usage saves society an estimated $50 billion annually in medical care, lost productivity, and other injury-related costs.
■ Conversely, safety belt nonuse results in significant economic costs to society. The needless deaths and injuries from safety belt nonuse account for an estimated $26 billion in economic costs to society annually. The cost goes beyond the lost lives of unbuckled drivers and passengers: We all pay - in higher taxes and higher health care and insurance costs.
■ More than half of Indiana teen fatalities
(age 16-19) are unrestrained, meaning they are not wearing a seatbelt.*
According National Safety Council.
Drive Alive co-founder