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Seatbelt use important in taxi cabs and shuttle buses as well as in private vehicles, AAA says
Just because summer is here, that’s no reason to take a vacation from wearing your seat belt, according to AAA of Northern California. “You can leave all your cares behind while on vacation but don’t leave behind your habit of buckling up,” said Matt Skryja, AAA spokesman. “In the rush to relax, travelers sometimes forget basic safety while riding in taxi cabs and shuttle vans by failing to use their seat belts. Safety should never get short shrift just because one is away from home.” Each day, about 38 people die in traffic collisions in the United States because they were not wearing a seat belt, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported. In 2008, about 14,000 people were killed in crashes nationwide due to lack of seat belt use. Nearly half those lives could have been saved had they had worn their seatbelts. Proper use of both the lap and shoulder belts can slash the risk of a fatal injury almost in half, according to the highway traffic safety organization. Seat belts also help reduce the risk and seriousness of severe bodily injury. “For perspective, the force of an impact at just 30 mph is like trying to catch a 300 lb barbell if it were dropped on you from 20 feet,” said Skryja. “Nobody is that strong.” When traveling 10 mph, it would be like trying to catch that 300 lb barbell after it had been dropped from two feet, he added. “This is assuming that you saw the crash coming,” said Skryja. “Many impacts occur without a moment's notice, and when you’re in a cab or shuttle van your attention is typically more on the scenery than the traffic.” For more safe driving tips, visit www.aaa.com/saferdriving.