THUNDER BAY – For most of us, getting in a vehicle means buckling up the seatbelt. After all, is that not just common sense? Yet for a staggering number of people, it seems common sense is just outside their grasp.
“As a driver or passenger, you can do more than just buckle up. Before you head out on the road, look beyond your own seat belt. If anyone in the vehicle is not wearing one, ask them to buckle up for everyone’s safety. Remind them that during a collision, unrestrained vehicle occupants may become human projectiles and pose an additional threat to other people in the vehicle, even those who are wearing a seat belt,” says Thomas Carrique, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police.
A 10-year data trend analysis has revealed that 24 percent of people killed on Ontario Provincial Police-(OPP)-patrolled roads were not wearing a seat belt.
The data means that of the 2,483 vehicle occupants who died in collisions between 2009 and 2018, 594 of them were not restrained in the vehicle. Lack of seat belt use has been a factor in 10 of the 47 deaths in road collisions so far this year (2019).
With the OPP set to conduct a provincial seat belt campaign over the Easter Long Weekend (April 19-22, 2019), they are issuing a reminder of the important role drivers and passengers play in reducing the number of seat belt-related deaths.
“Every time you step into a vehicle, take those first few seconds to buckle up. It’s simple – wearing a seatbelt can prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths in the event of a serious collision. By buckling up and ensuring children are properly secured, you are protecting yourself and your family,” shares Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General for Ontario.
“Seatbelts save lives and I urge all drivers and passengers to buckle up and ensure children are in the appropriate child car seat, or booster seat for their age, height and weight every time they get into a vehicle,” concludes Jeff Yurek, Minister of Transportation
(OPP-patrolled roads, 2009-2018):
- Drivers (versus passengers) account for two-thirds of the total number of seat belt-related deaths.
- Males between 25-64 years-old account for the highest number of seat belt-related deaths among all male and female age groups.