MO Trooper Says Crash Fatalities Up and He Knows Why - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

MO Trooper Says Crash Fatalities Up and He Knows Why

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It's always important to wear your seatbelt. But if you don't, listen up.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says traffic crash fatality numbers are climbing.

Sergeant Brent Bernhardt with the MSHP says he's seeing a lot of people not wearing their seatbelt. Bernhardt reminds people that it doesn't take long to buckle up and it could save your life.

He says there were more than 800 traffic crash deaths in Missouri last year; That's up from 2011, but what he has to say might take you by surprise.

"Something that stood out of all those traffic crashes were that over 60% of the people that were killed in those traffic crashes didn't have their seat belt on," Bernhardt said.

Bernhardt is urging people to protect themselves and make sure everyone in the vehicle is properly restrained.

"So we certainly want to urge motorists to protect themselves by making sure that everyone in their vehicle is properly restrained either with a seatbelt or a child restraint seat," Bernhardt said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says during a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly.

So how many lives have been saved by wearing seatbelts?

The NHTSA says from 2004 to 2008, seat belts saved over 75,000 lives - enough people to fill a large sports arena.

But what if your seatbelt is just not comfortable?

The NHTSA says you should never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

It suggests that if your seatbelt doesn't fit properly, you can have a seatbelt extender installed or buy an adjustor that makes the shoulder strap shorter.

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