Fatal Crashes on the Rise

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So far this year in the nine-county Meridian district, 30 people have died in accidents on state-patrolled roadways.

Sgt. Ronnie Carter of the Mississippi Highway Patrol says much of this is due to one reason.

"Clarke County alone, all of the eight fatalities this year, no one was wearing a seat belt, and I think I'm correct in saying that in last year's, in Clarke County, no one was wearing seat belts. There are just too many of them happening that could be prevented," said Carter.

While wearing a seat belt does not guarantee that you will not be injured or killed, numbers show it surely improves your chances of survival.

According to the American Coalition on Traffic Safety, a person involved in an accident at any speed is 50 percent more likely to survive if wearing a seat belt.

According to Mississippi Trooper Magazine, if you are driving at 30 miles an hour and are involved in a crash, you will be thrown toward the dashboard with the same force as if you had jumped head first off of a bridge. Imagine if you were going 70.

"They may have to cross an intersection and they may be traveling at a low speed, but the other vehicle is traveling at a high speed," said Carter. "So the potential to be involved in a crash is there. Whether we recognize it and take the necessary actions, that's up to us."