Wearing your seat belt.

It's something so lifesaving and easy to do but many drivers don't take the time to do it. It doesn't matter how many headlines tell the story of unrestrained drivers and passengers dying in vehicle crashes, it's something that happens all the time.

“Every day, unbuckled motorists are losing their lives in motor vehicle crashes,” said Breaux Bridge Police Chief Rollie Cantu in a recent press release.

Chief Cantu gave sobering stats to prove that not wearing a seat belt can indeed prove to be a fatal decision.

2017 Stats

  • 54% of drivers killed in Louisiana were not wearing safety belts
  • 63% of passengers killed were not restrained
  • 50% of children below age 6 killed in crashes were not buckled properly in child seats.

Unfortunately, KPEL News is reporting another unrestrained driver has died in a crash. According to Louisiana State Police, 63-year-old Walter R. Meyer of Gueydan passed away after crashing into a trailer Monday evening. The crash happened around 5:00 p.m. on Louisiana Highway 14 near Odilon Road in Vermilion Parish. Spokesman Trooper Thomas Gossen says Meyer was driving east on LA 14 in a pickup truck following behind another truck pulling the trailer. As the driver of the truck in front slowed to make a left turn onto Odilon Road, Meyer's truck hit the back of the trailer and began to spin.

LA 14 near Odilon Road, google street view
LA 14 near Odilon Road, google street view

While Meyer was not buckled up, the other driver was. He was not injured and showed no signs of impairment.

State Police continue to investigate. Troopers and law enforcement personnel across our area investigate these crashes every day. Sharing the news of a loved one passing away with their friends and family is a tough burden to carry.

Troop I, for instance, has investigated 20 fatal crashes in the first half of 2022. 23 people died in those crashes.

“If you ask the family members of those unrestrained people who were killed in crashes, they’ll tell you—they wished their loved ones had buckled up,” said Chief Cantu. “The bottom line is that seat belts save lives."

Louisiana State Police Car
Photo courtesy of LSP

Trooper Gossen has released the following statement on behalf of his department:

Louisiana State Troopers would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to always make good decisions while operating motor vehicles. Never drive while impaired, fatigued, or distracted, always ensure every occupant is properly restrained, and follow all traffic laws. While not all crashes are survivable, taking simple precautions such as these can often mean the difference between life and death.

Please buckle up.

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