A Chico woman escaped possible major injuries or death in a Chevrolet Suburban rollover accident because she was wearing her seat belt, California Highway Patrol officials said. According to an article in the Paradise Post, Delina Morgan Johnson lost control of her 1500 Chevrolet Suburban four-wheel drive vehicle off the east side of Skyway near Rocky Bluff after her dog tripped a drink over in the center console.
The Suburban rolled over, but Johnson was wearing her seat belt. Because of that, officials say, she was able to crawl out of her vehicle and wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
This SUV rollover accident offers clear evidence of what safety experts have been saying for years. Seat belts save lives. Johnson may not have been alive had she not been buckled up. She could’ve been ejected from the vehicle and suffered major injuries or even fatal injuries. She is also very fortunate because had her car rolled in a different direction, she may have landed on large lava rocks. In that case, it could have been a fatal rollover accident.
I’m relieved that she wasn’t badly injured and I wish her well.
About 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. And about 50 percent of them, about 17,000 people, could have been saved had they worn their seat belts, according to a study conducted by James Madison University. The report also states that for every 1 percent increase in seat belt use, 172 lives and close to $100 million in annual injury and death costs could be saved. Seat belts, when properly used, can reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60 to 70 percent.
These numbers are telling. Many motorists believe they don’t need to buckle up if they don’t leave their neighborhood or if they’re not on the freeway. That is a wrong notion. Studies show that 75 percent of auto accident fatalities occur within 25 miles of home and that more than half of all injury crashes involve low speeds – under 45 mph.
For more information about seat belt safety, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s safety page: http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/duip/buckleup.htm.