Simple slogan has saved 5,000-plus lives, $19 billion in related costs
Amazing as it seems, there are still motorists hitting the road without buckling up.
One can point to statistics about the effectiveness of seatbelts, or even rudimentary science (like inertia) that a body will continue to move in a car if the car stops suddenly and the passenger is not buckled in. One can cite that most car accidents happen near the home, or that a lost life in a traffic fatality many times is completely preventable.
But still, 1 in 10 Texans still do not buckle up. That sad fact resulted in a 9-percent increase in unbelted deaths in 2016. We witnessed more than a couple of those here in Gillespie County.
This month marks the 15th anniversary of the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, urging Texans to buckle up. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that since its inception 15 years ago, the campaign has resulted in 5,068 fewer traffic fatalities. It also has prevented more than 86,000 serious injuries and saved Texas more than $19.3 billion in related economic costs.
When “Click It or Ticket” was launched in 2002, only 76 percent of Texans buckled up regularly. Today, that number is at 92 percent.
That positive increase is great news, but many seem to take additional car safety built-ins for granted or fall for the myth of their own invincibility. A full eight percent still don’t and the number of people who don’t buckle up doubles to 16 percent at night.
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