Teen Driver Dies in Burke County Car Accident, Highlighting Importance of Seat Belts
A 19 year old high school student tragically died in a fatal crash on Highway 25 in Waynesboro, Georgia. The Burke County Coroner reports that the driver was traveling in a 2001 Chevy Tahoe with four other teenagers. Reportedly, the vehicle suddenly swerved onto the median and flipped over several times. At least two of the teenagers were ejected from the car and it is believed that none of the teens were wearing seat belts. Initial crash investigations reveal that the driver may have overcorrected the wheel, causing the crash. Further, it does not appear drugs or alcohol were a factor in the accident.
Reportedly, just two weeks from high school graduation, the parents of the 19 year old driver are now sadly planning his funeral. Another teen remains in critical condition. This tragic accident claimed the life of one teen way too soon and serves as a reminder as to the importance of wearing a seat belt. Investigators believe that had the teens been wearing their seatbelts, their injuries might have been minimized.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Under Georgia law, all front seat passengers must wear a seat belt when the vehicle is in operation and all occupants under the age of 17 must wear a safety belt or be properly restrained in a car or booster seat, dependent upon the child's age and weight. Failure to abide by this law can result in criminal fines.
According to the National Safety Council, seat belts, when worn correctly, are your best protection against injury in a crash. More than half of all vehicle occupants killed in the year 2012 were not wearing a seat belt. The use of seat belts is the lowest among teens and young adults, ages 16 to 24. Unfortunately, while many teens and young adults are law-abiding, careful drivers, their demographic also has the highest risk of car accidents due to inexperience and frequent impaired driving. Airbags can also help to reduce injury rates in crashes when coupled with the use of seat belts.
The most common hazard of not wearing a seat belt is ejection from the vehicle, as occurred in this recent Burke County crash. Seat belts secure vehicle occupants in the car in the event of a crash. Without a safety belt stopping our body from moving forward due to the force of the crash, you could travel through the windshield and face critical injuries. Common injuries resulting from not wearing a seat belt include, but are not limited to, brain injury, paralysis, broken limbs, and death.
Wearing a seat belt is not only the law, it saves lives. Be sure to put on your seat belt each and every time you get in the car and instruct your children to do the same. Enforcing good seat belt wearing habits can help ensure that your children continue to wear their safety belts as they grow older and one day, operate a vehicle on their own.
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