Don’t become just a memory

Article submitted by Jackie Bonser-PCHD

As Memorial Day approaches we are thinking about the start of summer, graduations, picnics, travel, and fun times with our families.

The one thing that some Montanans are not thinking about is wearing a seatbelt during their travels.

That is why Buckle Up Montana Coalitions and law enforcement agencies across Montana are taking time this Memorial Day holiday to remind you to buckle up - every one, every trip, every time.

In 2011 there were 209 fatalities on Montana’s roadways. Preliminary 2012 reports show that there have already been 51 motor vehicle fatalities so far this year, compared with 39 last year.

Over 70 percent of those who were fatally injured were not buckled up.  Passengers are 25 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle if they are not wearing a seat belt.

Vehicles are built with a reinforced safety cage to protect the occupants of the vehicle in the event of a crash.  Within that cage is the best chance to survive a crash because there is room to live if the passengers stay in the vehicle.  Wearing a seat belt properly will keep passengers inside the vehicle, therefore giving them room to live.

When worn correctly, seat belts have proven to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities. Seat belts are the most effective piece of safety equipment in a vehicle, but remember - no one in the vehicle is safe unless every passenger is buckled up.

In the event of a crash, if even one passenger in the vehicle is not buckled; it puts all other passengers at risk of being hit by the unbuckled person.

This Memorial Day, don’t become just a memory to your family and friends. Buckle up every one, every trip, every time.  Please, click it, don’t risk it.

For more information, please visit www.buckleup.mt.gov or contact Jackie Bonser at the Pondera County Health Department, 271-3247, 311 S. Virginia in the Pondera Center.