By the Safety Squad at Southwest Health.
Did you know rural residents have an increased risk for death from vehicle crashes when compared to urban residents? Less than 20% of the U.S. population lives in rural areas, yet more than half of the passenger/vehicle/occupant deaths occurred on rural roads in 2015. Which means, even though there are more crashes in urban areas, a much higher proportion of rural crashes result in death. With motor vehicle crashes being the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, these statistics should not be taken lightly by our rural communities.
There are many factors that go into how dangerous an accident is – speed, distractions, weather conditions, driving experience, the influence of alcohol or drugs, and seat belt usage being among some of the top factors. And while lawmakers and vehicle manufacturers have increased their efforts to enforce seat belt usage, half of the fatally injured occupants on rural roads in 2015 were unrestrained by a seat belt.
Seat belts are one of the best ways to prevent serious injury or death in a vehicle crash – so even though we know you’ve heard it before, we’ll say it again – please, buckle up.