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Authorities Encourage Buckling-Up After Four Deaths in the Past Week


Four deaths in the state this past week are a result of not wearing a seat belt and police say these deaths could've easily been prevented.

"That's the sad part. Wyoming residents spend more time on the road than the average citizen in America, yet we wear our seat belt less so that a formula for disaster." said Officer Joe Nickerson, Casper Police PIO.

A survey last summer in Wyoming showed that only a little over 60 percent of people in Natrona County wear their seat belts, making Natrona County the third lowest county in the state.

"Traditionally and historically Wyoming has a lower than average seat belt use, so apparently once again our independent mindset in Wyoming is hurting us." said Nickerson

In 2011, 64 percent of traffic fatalities were from not wearing seat belts, and although the number has gone down in recent years. The Wyoming seat belt coalition says its still not good enough.

"So the seat belt coalition is going to work with legislators to hopefully try to introduce a bill for a primary seat belt law." said Pam Evert, Safe Communities Program Director.

Christopher Mena says he has worn a seat belt ever since one saved his life when he was 16.

"I rear-ended a parked semi-truck trailer, and I walked away from that accident with only a minor concussion instead of something way worse." said Mena.

But the biggest fatality when it comes to driving in Wyoming is single car rollovers and death from that can usually be prevented by one decision.

"Not everything we can prevent but seat belt usage is something we can prevent and if we can change our mindset, we can save lives." said Nickerson.


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