Editorials

Don't get caught dead without a seat belt

KURT STRAZDINS/MCT
KURT STRAZDINS/MCT KRT

My God, no one was wearing their seat belts."

Those are the haunting words from a grieving mother whose daughter and a friend died last month in a crash near Mobile.

Those words should be enough to convince all drivers to buckle up.

Experts estimate 13,000 to 15,000 lives are saved every year by seat belts.

That statistic should be enough to convince all drivers to buckle up.

Seat belts reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by up to 50 percent in cars and up to 60 percent in light trucks.

That should also be enough to convince all drivers to buckle up.

But, apparently, it isn't.

In Mississippi, it's against the law to drive without a seat belt, and yet about 15 percent of drivers do just that.

So, as we head toward Memorial Day, the deadliest holiday on Mississippi roads, the Mississippi Highway Patrol will be looking for those who, for whatever reason, aren't buckled up. Last year, 68 people died in crashes across Mississippi in May.

Had they been wearing a seat belt, Twyla Jennings of the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety said, they "would have gone home to their loved ones."

So listen to Highway Patrol Capt. Johnny Poulos: "Just wear your seat belt."

This editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.

  Comments