Around the state, law enforcement agencies are joining in on a yearly program to make the roads safer.
There will be more of a police presence on the road through June 6 as a result of the “Click It or Ticket” program, which reminds drivers and passengers to buckle their seatbelts, and stresses there can be legal consequences for not doing it.
More important than the legal consequences, though, are the human casualties that can take place when a motorist doesn’t wear his or her seatbelt. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 2019 saw 9,466 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in wrecks across the country.
NHTSA also says risky driving is going up.
Columbia Police Department posted on their Facebook page Monday morning that among young adults 18 to 34 killed while riding in cars in 2019, 57 percent were not wearing seatbelts. That’s one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
Statistics show that 65% of the 22,215 motorists who were killed in 2019 were men. Around 51 percent of men killed in car accidents are unrestrained, compared to 40 percent of women.
NHTSA says in 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives. In part, officials say, that’s because of rising awareness of the dangers of driving unrestrained.