Trucking and Auto Accident Death Decline in Missouri and Illinois as well as Fourteen Other States Because of Increased Law Enforcement Efforts

Truck accidents and auto accidents as well as other deaths dropped substantially in Missouri, Illinois and 14 other states last year. Many states with the reduction in truck accident and auto accident deaths credit stepped up enforcement and education campaigns. Illinois truck accident and automobile accident deaths fell below 1,300, the lowest total since 1924. Road deaths in Illinois have been dropping every year since 2003, when Illinois enacted a law that allowed police to stop motorists solely for not wearing seat belts. According to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the drop in trucking accident and automobile accident deaths represented clear and convincing evidence that the law is working and seat belts really do save lives.
In Missouri, truck accident and automobile accident fatalities in 2005/2006 dropped 14.6 percent. Law enforcement officials credit the decline with education efforts and new research initiatives that enable state troopers to focus on areas where crashes most likely occur. Some states that had drops in traffic fatalities cited stiffer drunk driving laws, police checkpoints aimed at aggressive driving, improved highway design, and safety efforts targeting young drivers.
When I see drivers driving without their seat belts, I am amazed at their ignorance of what can happen to them in an automobile accident whether or not it involves a truck. If a car crashes into another vehicle, the deacceleration forces can force a non-belted passenger out through the windshield or the side windows of the vehicle. In addition, if the vehicle rolls over, frequently the passengers are ejected, resulting in severe permanent injuries or death. Also, safety restraints such as shoulder belts, airbags, side curtain airbags, roof pillars to prevent roof crush, all become useless if the passenger is not belted because they are not in the proper position to take advantage of the safety devices built into modern day automobiles. I applaud Illinois in allowing troopers to stop people and give them tickets if they are not wearing their seat belts. The simple clicking of a seat belts with a shoulder harness can prevent severe permanent injuries, death, as well as the social costs of extensive medical bills and the heartbreak of people losing a loved one or having to watch them suffer through extreme pain. My advice is make it automatic when you get in your automobile to put your seat belt on, and set a good example for your children by always making sure they wear their seatbelts and you wear yours.