Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Many years ago, I profiled several centenarians and asked a gerontologist the secret to living to 100.
He said: "Choose your parents. Wear a seatbelt." In other words, genetics and safety.
This week, the CDC released figures on seat belt use in the United States for 2009, the most recent data year.
The agency reported that "using a seat belt is one of the most effective means of preventing serious injury or death in the event of a crash. Seat belts saved an estimated 12,713 lives in 2009, but almost 4,000 additional lives could have been saved if every occupant had been buckled up."
Which leads me to today's question: Do you want to live to 100?
(AP file photo of a Waco High School student whose life was saved by a seat belt)
Starting on Monday, more than 50 Idaho law enforcement agencies will launch a 14-day crackdown on seat belt usage, a push that will extend through the Memorial Day weekend. According to the Idaho Transportation Department, 105 Idahoans who weren’t wearing their seat belts were killed last year in crashes on the state’s roads. Idaho law requires restraints - seat belts for adults, child safety seats for young children - for all drivers and passengers in vehicles. Fines for violating Idaho’s safety restraint laws range from $10 to $69.
“Wearing your seat belt costs nothing and yet it’s the single most effective traffic safety device ever invented,” said Mary Hunter, ITD highway safety manager. “Failing to wear a seat belt puts you at risk for serious injury or death. Two-thirds of motor vehicle occupants killed in Idaho traffic crashes last year were unbelted. According to seat belt effectiveness studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), half of these victims could be alive today had they simply buckled up.”