Wyoming State Troopers Urge People to Stay Buckled Up
Almost everyone, at one point or another, convinces themselves that a “quick trip” will be safe, and there is no need to wear a seatbelt. Unfortunately, this is a big mistake.
Every time you get in your car and drive, you and your passengers are at risk of an accident. Even if you are a careful, defensive driver, there is always the possibility of a drunk or distracted driver swerving into your lane or another driver making a wrong decision, causing an unavoidable accident. Fortunately, the risk of an accident isn’t high enough for you to stop driving altogether, but it is critical to be aware of the risk and follow all safety guidelines to ensure that you and your passengers are as safe as possible should an accident occur.
Seat belts are a vital safety feature required in all vehicles in the USA, and it is against the law to drive without one – for a good reason. Lack of seatbelt use is the leading cause of death in car accidents in the great state of Wyoming. In fact, out of 38 automobile fatalities that occurred recently over four months, 17 of them were not wearing a seatbelt. That’s 17 lives that might still be with us if they had followed the recommended and required road safety practice of wearing a seatbelt!
The Efforts of Our State Troopers
Our state troopers are continuing to urge drivers to wear their seatbelts and provide public service messages to increase safety on the road. Their efforts have resulted in an increasing trend of seatbelt usage in Wyoming, we are still below the national average. The Wyoming Highway Patrol is dedicated to improving public safety on our roadways, but they need help to set the right example and make seatbelts an “of course!” instead of a “maybe I can get away without it?”
Facts and Statistics on Seatbelt Use
In the interest of public safety, surveys have been performed, bringing to light some interesting facts and statistics regarding seatbelt use in Wyoming:
- In a recent year, Wyoming had double the national average of deaths in car crashes
- A recent survey showed that only 82% of Wyoming drivers and passengers wore seatbelts properly
- In a recent year, 62% of fatalities in car accidents were not wearing their seatbelts, while 1% were misusing their seatbelts
- Over a four-year period, seatbelts saved almost 67,000 lives per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Wearing a seatbelt cuts your risk of serious injury or death by 50%
As you can see, if everyone wore their seatbelts every time they drove, the number of car accident deaths would be significantly lower – and you and your passengers would be much safer.
What the Law Says About Seatbelts
In Wyoming, wearing a seatbelt is a legal requirement, but violations are considered “secondary offenses,” which means police officers cannot pull you over and cite you for not wearing a seatbelt unless you are being cited for another moving violation. This law leads people to believe that as long as they don’t break any other driving laws, it’s okay to not wear a seatbelt – which is far from the truth.
Seatbelt fines apply to the driver only, and if you’re pulled over you can be fined $25 for the driver not being buckled up plus, $10 for each unbuckled passenger. Unlike other states, the driver is responsible for paying all fines associated with seatbelt offenses.
The law requiring the use of seatbelts is there for your safety – follow it and cut the risk to you and your passengers in half!
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