Jones County Fire Rescue suggests seatbelts during holiday travel

Pine Belt

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with Jones County Fire Rescue said wearing a seatbelt may be the difference between life or death for travelers this holiday season.

Drivers who wear their seatbelt may end up in accident and only end up with minor injuries instead of being thrown around their car or ejected out of their vehicle in a vehicle turn over. Officials said a large percent of vehicle accident deaths could have been prevented.

“People recently have been in serious accidents with a high potential to be fatal but they were properly buckled in and we just don’t want to work that Thanksgiving day accident or the day after or Christmas day travel accident where somebody just didn’t think about buckling in,” said Dana Bumgardener, Jones County Fire Rescue

According to the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT), statistically one out of every two people killed in crashes in Mississippi are not buckled up, with teenage drivers being the least likely to wear their seatbelt. Nationally, 90 percent of Americans wear their seatbelt. In Mississippi, that number is only 78 percent which puts us among some of the lowest seat belt rates in the nation. 

The CDC also weighed in on holiday travel risks, and they said the lowest risks of COVID-19 transmission are short trips with members of your household with no stops along the way. Higher risks of contracting the virus occur if neighbors are traveling on longer trips with multiple stops along the way. Authorities are advising the safest way to enjoy the holiday is to stay home. 

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