According to the Florida Highway Patrol, there were 27 deaths on Florida’s highways due to auto accidents during the three day Memorial Day week-end. Nineteen of those 27 fatalities were reportedly not wearing their seatbelts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that when front seat passengers use the lap/shoulder seatbelts, the risk of death in an auto accident drops by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury drops by 50%. Florida has had a Child Restraint Law since 1982 and a Safety Belt Law since 1986 and Florida Highway Patrol continues to enforce the law and promote seat belt usage for everyone in the vehicle. But according to NHTSA’s statistics for 2007, seat belt usage dropped in Florida by 8% while the nation as a whole increased by 7%.
The statistics prove the seat belts save lives, but some individuals either refuse to believe it, or think it will never happen to them. One can only hope that Floridians will do better in 2008.