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auto crashes

Nearly half of the people
killed in auto crashes in Alabama last year were not wearing a seat belt,
according to an analysis of state crash records.

A data analysis study conducted by The University of Alabama Center for
Advanced Public Safety using recently released 2018 Alabama crash data showed
crash victims who die are often reported as not wearing a seat belt.

Of the 743 persons killed in
vehicles that were equipped with restraints in 2018 in Alabama, 366, about
half, were not wearing their seat belts.

“Seat belts are the most
effective way of keeping yourself alive in a crash,” said Dr. David Brown,
research associate at UA’s Center for Advanced Public Safety.

The study showed that the
probability of dying in a crash is about 50 times higher when unrestrained. In
general, less that one in 1,000 occupants involved in motor vehicle crashes are
killed when restrained. This probability increases to one in 24 when not
restrained.

“The very last thing you
ever want to experience in a car crash is to be ejected out onto the
roadway,” Brown said. “If you do survive, ejections that are not
fatal usually result in extremely severe injury.”

Without a seat belt, the probability
of ejection increases about 500 times, and, if ejected, the probability of
death increases by another 200 times, he said.

The national seat belt
enforcement mobilization effort known as the Click It or Ticket program begins
in mid-May and runs into early June. Additional traffic enforcement will be
conducted during this effort with an emphasis on Memorial Day weekend.

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