First responder warns against ‘needless’ deaths after 3 unrestrained drivers killed in May

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – We’ve all seen the signs, the “click it or ticket” commercials, and maybe even rolled our eyes at the dinging of a car alarm reminding us to buckle up. It’s all too easy for these reminders to fade into the background, and that’s when you put your own life at risk.

“It’s not hard to do, it doesn’t take a lot of energy, or brains, to me it’s a common sense factor,” said Don Webster,  Chief Operating Officer of HEMSI.

Webster says putting on a seat belt should be a habit – like brushing your teeth. He calls it a “common sense” practice. But unfortunately, people aren’t buckling up, and are facing the ultimate consequence.

“We have had a lot of unrestrained vehicle accidents here in the last several months. And it’s quite obvious they aren’t restrained because they’re being ejected out of the vehicle,” said Webster.

In May alone in the Tennessee Valley, there were three fatal wrecks where the victims were not wearing seat belts. A quick search of WHNT News 19’s own reports shows at least four more since February.

All were ejected from their vehicles on impact.

According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, 90% of Alabama drivers and front seat passengers do wear a seat belt.  But it`s the 10% that can lead to a lost life, a heartbroken family, and emergency responders who know it could have been prevented.

“I can’t answer for all the first responders and paramedics and firefighters and police officers, but I think they find it disappointing. Needless – not stupid or dumb – just needless.”

Around 50% of traffic fatalities could be prevented by wearing a seat belt.