Nearly 150 people not wearing their seatbelts have died in South Carolina already this year. That means almost 3 of 4 people who died so far was not buckled up.
Experts estimate that seatbelts save 9,500 lives each year in the U.S. But in 2007, statistics show only three-fourths of South Carolinian drivers and passengers wore their seatbelts. That is compared to 83% nationwide.
Barbara Weston is one Columbia woman who knows the importance of seat belt usage. Her son Julian died in a car accident two years ago when he was not wearing his belt. He was only 23-years-old. She says safety belt awareness is very important to her.
"Had he been wearing his seatbelt, he would've ended up still in the car and the car was in -tact. So that's why as a mother I am so supportive of wearing seatbelts."
Safety Belt Statistics:
If 90% of Americans buckle-up, it would prevent 5500 deaths and 132,000 injuries each year in the U.S.
In South Carolina alone in 2006, 450 of 752 people who died in car accidents weren't wearing seat belts.
South Carolina's seat belt use last year was at 74.5%. That number was up to 83% nationally.
Sources: BuckleUP South Carolina, Department of Highway Safety.