Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news from Florida for working families since 2007

Florida/National News

Seatbelts: If You Don’t Think or Think Seatbelts Don’t Save Lives, Think Again. Traveling on July 4 – Buckle Up

Fire truck roll over crash: Seatbelt saves figherfigher's life

FLORIDA – For July 4, nearly 4.5 million Floridians are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home; nationwide, nearly 71 million will hit the road. Many will not buckle up. Some, along with family members and friends, will needlessly die.

If you are between 21 and 34, your chances of being killed in a crash without your seatbelt are 60%, the highest of any age group.

Chart: car crash deaths when not wearing a seat belt

If you are a man, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that men are more likely to “die unrestrained” [seatbelt not buckled] than women.

In 2022, the total number of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in Florida was 1,748, or almost 5, every day.

men more likely to die because they didn't buckle up

link to National Safety Council  injury factsIn 2022, if one was not buckled up, you may have been one of the 777 fatalities or one of the two people every day who died without their seatbelt on.

Every day, the Columbia County Observer receives press releases from the Florida Highway Patrol detailing yet another fatal accident where someone without their seatbelt buckled up.

Everyone knows seatbelts save lives

Kaille Randolph -- Mississippi firefighterIf you are not sure how effective seatbelts are, ask Kaille Randolph, a Mississippi firefighter who survived a fire engine rollover.

On the way to a call, the fire engine in which she was riding rolled over several times, trapping her legs between the vehicle and the roadway when it finally came to a stop.

Ms. Randolph was extricated from the fire engine and then flown to a nearby hospital.

Firefighter Randolph told WLOX news, “Had I not taken the time to put my bunker pants on, then get in the truck, actually put my seat belt on… I probably wouldn’t be here today.”

link to more coverageMs. Randolph sustained three fractures in her right foot and three fractures in her left leg.

She is in physical therapy and expects to go back to fighting fires when she is all healed.

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