By Gary Lloyd
Preliminary data from crashes investigated by Alabama State Troopers indicates 59
percent of all traffic fatalities in 2012 were not wearing seat belts at the time of their deaths
For 2012, 513 people died in crashes investigated by troopers on Alabama’s rural, state, U.S. and interstate highways. Of those, 424 were in vehicles in which seat belts were available, and 251 were not wearing seat belts. Crash data from crashes investigated by local law enforcement won’t be compiled until later this year.
According to preliminary traffic crash data, there were 29 people killed in vehicle crashes investigated by state troopers in Alabama last month. Of that number, 26 were in vehicles in which seat belts were available, and 16 victims were not wearing seat belts, state officials said. The latest information from the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows 40 people were killed in January, and 33 of those were
in vehicles in which seat belts were available and 20 victims were not restrained.
A year-end review of 2012 crash data shows that 59 percent of people killed in vehicle crashes were not restrained, and the annual average of fatality victims not wearing seat belts during the past five years is 60 percent. So far in 2013, 61 percent of fatalities were not wearing seat belts.
Alabama law requires front seat passengers and children between the ages of 6 and 15 to wear seat belts. Additionally, children younger than age 6 must be properly restrained in a federal motor vehicle safety standards-approved child safety seat.
The Department of Public Safety and ALDOT will jointly release to the public each month the number of unrestrained fatalities in crashes investigated by troopers in an effort to improve seat belt use and decrease deaths on Alabama highways.
For more information, visit www.dot.state.al.us.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.