Motorists Are Encouraged to Buckle Up

[XENIA, OH] — Safety should be everyone’s top priority and Laurie Fox, Greene County Safe Communities
Coordinator, reminds all Greene County residents that saving a life is a snap. Buckle Up America encourages
everyone on the road to use seat belts and restraints and to use them properly.

“Seat belts are the most effective lifesaving feature in a vehicle,” said Ms. Fox. “However, they only work if you use them and use them correctly. It only takes a second to snap the buckle on a seat belt, but the benefits can last you a lifetime.”

In 2011 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives nationwide. But nearly one in five Americans still fail to buckle up regularly and too many children still don’t use their seat belts or child safety seats. In 2011, of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide, 52% were NOT wearing seat belts at the time of their fatal crashes.

In 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), developed a national initiative to increase seat belt use to 85% by the year 2000 and to 90% by 2005. The latest national seat belt use rate was 86% in 2012.

“You have too much to lose if you don’t buckle up”, said Ms. Fox. “Using a seat belt will halve your chances of
being killed or badly injured in a serious crash, and using the proper age-appropriate car seat in a passenger car will reduce your infant’s chance of fatal injury by 71% and your toddler’s by 54%.”

According to research compiled by NHTSA, from 1975 through 2009 an estimated 9,310 children under age 5 were saved by child restraints (car seats or adult seat belts).

All States have laws requiring infants and toddlers to ride in car seats, but children still ride unprotected, and the consequences are frightening. According to NHTSA, fully 31% of passenger vehicle occupants under 5 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2009 were riding unrestrained.

“Let’s use Buckle Up America! Commit to wearing seat belts on every trip, ensuring that everyone who rides in our cars is buckled up and that all children 12 and younger ride in the back seat in properly installed restraints appropriate for their age and size,” Ms. Fox said. “Remember; never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag. Drivers and front-seat passengers should maintain at least a 10-inch distance between themselves and their air bags. While we cannot always avoid a crash, we can take the responsibility to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones.” Buckle Up America, Every Trip. Every Time.

The public is invited to attend the Click It or Ticket Kick Off set for Tuesday, May 21st at 9:00am at Xenia
High School, 303 Kinsey Road in Xenia. Remarks on the campaign, seat belt use and enforcement will be
provided by local officials and the winner of the Greene County High School Click It or Ticket Poster Contest will be recognized.

For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, please call 937-374-5669 or email
lfox@gcchd.org. For more information on seat belt safety, visit http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

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