Number of Unrestrained Fatalities Continues Rise in Ala. - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Number of Unrestrained Fatalities Continues Rise in Ala.

Crash activity reports from the Alabama Department of Public Safety show the number of people who died in vehicle crashes where seat belts were available and were not wearing seat belts increased from last month.

According to preliminary traffic crash data, there were 45 people killed in vehicle crashes investigated by state troopers in Alabama in April 2013 compared to 42 in March. Of that number, 37 were in vehicles where seat belts were available, and 26 victims were not wearing seat belts up from 20 in March. That's six more deaths.

"Too many people continue to die in crashes because they are not wearing seat belts," said Transportation Director John Cooper. "It's a proven fact that buckling up every time we get behind the wheel or ride as a passenger helps save lives. Buckling up in the front seat as well as the back seat can help improve your chances of surviving a crash." 

The latest information from the Alabama Department of Public Safety shows 157 people were killed thus far in 2013. Of that number, 132 were in vehicles where seat belts were available and 82 victims were not restrained.

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 where 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. The annual average of fatality victims not wearing seat belts during the past five years is an alarming 60 percent.

DPS and ALDOT are jointly releasing 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 additional information, visit www.dot.state.al.us.

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