Make sure those seat belts are buckled

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 19, 2003

With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, we would be remiss if we didn't urge eveyone to use caution while traveling to and from family gatherings.

This Friday, law enforcement officers will be out in force for the next week with the newest Click It or Ticket program.

It is a sad thing that we still have so many people who will not simply take the 3.3 seconds it takes to fasten the safety harness that could very well save your life.

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If you are not wearing a safety belt and your vehicle hits another vehicle traveling the same rate of speed, say 55 mph, that means if you are not buckled in, you could be thrown forward at 110 mph.

Does that sound like a fun and exciting thing?

We think not!

Also, far too often, we witness children who are not strapped in properly.

They are up jumping around in the back seat or the front seat.

In the event of a crash, those children will have no hope of survival.

If they do survive, they could very well be disabled for life-physically or mentally.

Wearing a seat belt is not just smart thing to do, it is the law.

Since 1999, failure to wear a seat belt is a primary offense in Alabama. Prompted seat belt usage to increase from 58 percent that year to 71 percent in 2000. As a result, Alabama highway fatalities declined from 1,148 to 986 during that period. We look at that as 162 lives that were saved because of seatbelt usage.

So be thankful for being alive and make it an early new year's resolution to buckle up.