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'Click It Or Ticket' In Paulding County After 15 Crash Deaths

Patch logo Patch 5/20/2019 John Barker
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PAULDING COUNTY, GA -- It takes just two seconds to buckle up when going for a drive. But for whatever reason, many people skip this potentially life-saving step, putting themselves at greater risk of dying in a crash. Beginning Monday, 10,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide will scour the roads, keen on busting some of the estimated 27.5 million unbuckled travelers.

It's known as "Click It or Ticket." You know the drill. The campaign, which runs through June 2, aims to enforce seat belt use to keep drivers and their passengers safe.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 10,000 unbuckled people died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2017. More than half of those fatal crashes happened at night.

In Paulding County, 15 people died in passenger vehicle crashes that year, the latest year for which data was available. That's a rate of 16.18 deaths per 100,000 people. Unrestrained deaths, referring to people who weren't buckled properly, accounted for 3 deaths, a rate of 1.88 per 100,000 people.

Here are all the fatal crashes in the Paulding County area:

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In nearly every state and Washington, D.C., it's unlawful to ride in a vehicle without wearing a seatbelt, federal transportation officials said. New Hampshire is the lone state that has no seatbelt law for adults.

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for Americans ages 1-54, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017.

"If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older had worn their seat belts that same year, it's estimated an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved," the NHTSA said in a news release.

Young adults 18-24 years old are, perhaps unsurprisingly, less likely to wear a seat belt than older age groups, and men are less likely than women to buckle up.

Patch national staffer Dan Hampton contributed to this report.

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