MHP: Seat Belts Work

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Three passengers involved in a single car accident Monday morning
in the northbound lanes of Interstate 59 near the Savoy exit were reported in good condition.

The Mississippi Highway Patrol said the vehicle apparently ran over a metal rod, blew a tire and crashed into trees in the median.

State Trooper Johnny Knox said the accident would have been much worse if the occupants had not been wearing seat belts.

"This is a clear use of seatbelts. If they'd not been wearing their
seatbelts they could have been seriously injured," said Knox.

Local law enforcement officers say they are monitoring holiday traffic closely. Extended Web Coverage

How Many People Are Using Seat Belts?

  • 1998 – 69%
  • 1999 – 67%
  • 2000 – 71%
  • 2001 – 73%

Seat Belt Safety Tips

  • Kids Ride in Back - Infants should never ride in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger air bag. Children, typically ages 12 and under, also should ride buckled up in the back seat.

  • Child Safety Seats - Young children and infants always should ride in age- and size-appropriate child safety seats. The safety seat should be held properly in place by the vehicle's safety belts and the child should be correctly buckled in the child safety seat.

  • Wear Both Lap and Shoulder Belts - The shoulder strap should cross the collarbone, and the lap belt should fit low and tight. The shoulder strap should never be slipped behind the back or under the arm - this is a dangerous habit, especially in cars with air bags.

It Costs Not to Wear Your Seat Belt

  • Americans are paying $14.3 billion per year in injury-related costs for people who don't wear seat belts.

  • On average, those injured pay for less than 30 percent of these total costs. The remaining 70 percent - $10.1 billion, is paid for by society through higher automobile and health insurance rates and through public assistance programs funded with federal and state tax revenues.

  • By increasing seat belt use from the current 70 percent to 90 percent, we would save $356 million a year in Medicare and Medicaid costs alone.

  • It is estimated that each driver who buckles up is paying an additional auto insurance premium of $40 per year to cover the costs of the drivers who don't buckle up.

Source: contributed to this report.