A West Terre Haute man died last week from injuries sustained in a truck accident in Brazil. It appeared that the young man was not wearing his seat belt.
"It's unfortunate that the law does not require the use of seat belts in pick-ups except for children," said Brazil City Police Chief Terry Harrison. "Crash dynamics are the same in a truck as they are in a car."
Harrison said that 42,000 people were killed in vehicle crashes, nationwide, in 2002. It's estimated that as many as 9,000 of those deaths could have been prevented if the individuals had been wearing seat belts.
According to Harrison there were 221,000 vehicular accidents in Indiana during 2001, the latest available date for statistics in the state. Besides the death of 909 people, there were serious bodily injuries and property damage costing $2.5 billion.
Harrison said that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children ages two-14.
"We just want to emphasize the importance of wearing seat belts," Harrison said. "They can prevent deaths or reduce the severity of injuries if they are used and used properly."