AUSTIN, Texas (Nexstar) – The number of traffic crashes has gone down but the number of fatalities and deaths of people in Texas from not wearing seat belts has gone up.
“This past year we have all been reminded of the simple acts we can take to protect our lives and those of our loved ones,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Wearing a seat belt is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves from serious injury or even death in a traffic crash. Instead of putting yourself and others in danger, remember: buckle up day and night, every rider, every ride.”
In 2019, there were 926 fatalities from people wearing seat belts but in 2020 that number jumped up to 1,073 fatalities, that alone was a 16% increase.
And because of that TxDOT is using this launch as a reminder to buckle up.
According to research done by TxDOT, half of all pickup drivers killed in crashes last year in were not wearing a seat belt. And during the night, when it is considered most dangerous to drive results have showed that 59% of all crashes in the evening ended with unbuckled drivers or passengers dying.
The simple act of putting on a seat belt reduces the risk of dying by up to 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars and up to 60% for people in pickup trucks.
Starting May 24 to June 6, Texas officers and deputies will enhance their enforcement of seat belt wearing and child care seat laws of the state. Texas law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly fastened in front or back seat of a car. Or else they can face fines and fees up to $200. It is advised that children younger than 8 years old be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet and 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines up $250.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this initiative is estimated to have saved more than 6,000 lives preventing more than 100,000 injuries and resulting in a $23.6 billion in economic savings.