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Living in Charleston or the surrounding area, you’re probably already well aware of the need to wear a seat belt when you drive. It is a law that you and any children in your vehicle must wear your seat belts when your vehicle is turned on or in motion.

Through the last two weeks of November, West Virginia’s law enforcement agencies are going to be participating in a Click It or Ticket campaign that aims to reduce the number of people traveling without seat belts in the state. Drivers can be cited and ticketed if seat belts are not being worn in their vehicle at the time of a traffic stop.

How much can a seat belt change the outcome of a collision?

Seat belts aren’t just there for minor protection. The reality is that these belts may be all there is between you staying inside your vehicle or being thrown from it (or around inside it) during a collision. Not wearing a seat belt could have fatal consequences, which is why it’s vital to wear it at all times when you’re inside your vehicle and to wear it correctly.

In 2017, 47% of the passengers who were killed in crashes were people who were not restrained. It’s believed that 14,955 people’s lives were saved that same year just because of using seat belts properly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that another 2,549 people might still be alive today if they’d been wearing their seat belts at the time of those crashes.

It’s impossible to know when a seat belt could save your life

It is impossible to know when you’ll get into a crash with a reckless or dangerous driver. It’s hard to predict that a drunk driver will be on the roads or that another driver will pull out in front of you. As someone who is on the roads, putting on your seat belt is one way that you can proactively protect yourself and your family, even if a collision does occur.

Wearing your seat belt in the front seat reduces your risk of a fatal injury by 45% if you’re involved in a crash. Be safe, and wear your seat belt every time you drive.