|Carbon County resident James Bailey buckles up before heading to work. While Utah fatalities are down statewide, Carbon County has experienced two vehicle related deaths since Sept. 25. Sgt. Kelly of the UHP reported that neither individual was wearing their seat belt and both were ejected from their vehicle.|
Separate traffic accidents on Sept. 25 and Sept. 28 resulted in two fatalities in Carbon County.
Both unrestrained drivers were reportedly ejected from the vehicles in the fatal accidents, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. John Kelly.
The sergeant indicated that the two crashes were being investigated by UHP Trooper Bryan Lacy.
"I can tell you without a doubt the wearing a seatbelt increases one's chance of survival in any accident," stressed Sgt. Kelly. "The laws we have in place regarding seatbelts are not there to inconvenience people, they are there to save lives."
The first fatality occurred on U.S. Highway 6 at approximately 8:20 p.m. on Sept. 25.
According to Kelly, Donald Sims of Lakewood, Colo., was traveling westbound when he apparently swerved into the eastbound lane and collided head-on with an oncoming semi-tractor trailer.
Kelly indicated that Sims was pronounced dead at the scene near mile marker 263 on U.S. 6.
The second incident reportedly took place on the Utah State Road 55 on ramp to U.S. 6 at 11:43 p.m. on Sept. 28.
The single car accident occurred when 21 year-old Ty Moosman of Price reportedly failed to negotiate a turn on the roadway and overcorrected the vehicle, according to Kelly.
Moosman purportedly left the road and continued down south into an embankment, where the driver was ejected from the vehicle and also pronounced dead at the scene, indicated the UHP sergeant.
"Two ejections and two fatalities in a week's time is a terrible tragedy," commented Kelly. "It is my hope that some good can possibly come from this incident, I hope it forces everyone to consider buckling up as soon as they get into their vehicle."
According to Utah website zerofatalities.com, safety belts are approximately 50 percent effective in preventing fatalities in crashes in which motorists would otherwise die.
"Sadly, in 2005, 282 motorists died on Utah's roadways. Of those, 208 were unrestrained or improperly restrained. Based on historical national studies, it is estimated that 50 percent of those people or 104 individuals would have survived if they would have simply buckled up," stated the site.
Utah's 2005 safety belt observational survey showed that 86.9 percent of motorists buckled up. The number means that 313,000 Utah motorists did not report buckling up, noted the website.
Zerofatalities.com reports that, as efforts are continued to increase safety belt use, Carbon County motorists should be aware of the fact that Utah's law enforcement officers will issue citations to unbuckled drivers and passengers traveling in vehicles.
The safety website provides several tips for buckling up properly. Carbon County residents should:
Always use both the lap and shoulder belt.
When worn properly, the shoulder belt should fit across the collar bone and the lap belt should fit lower over the hips.
Never place the shoulder strap under the arm or behind the back.
The safest place for any child age 12 and under is the back seat.
Infants should ride rear-facing as long as possible and at least until they are 20 pounds and one year of age.
Children should be securely fastened in a forward-facing child safety seat once they have outgrown rear-facing seats until the youngsters weigh about 40 pounds.
Use belt positioning booster seats to help position adult size seatbelts for children who have outgrown their toddler safety seat.
More than 80 percent of child safety seats are used incorrectly.
Local residents should be, sure to read the car seat and vehicle owners manual. Follow all instructions and be sure child passengers are safe at all times.
Despite the recent number of driving related deaths, Utah fatalities are on the decline over the past five years.
"Even though there are more people living and driving in Utah, fewer people are losing their lives on Utah roads," explained the safety website. "However, the loss of just one life is too many."
Sgt. Kelly retains a similar philosophy.
"The Buckle Up Utah campaign has been a success as we have seen statewide fatalities drop, however we are continuing to be vigilant toward seatbelt violations. The safety Utah motorists matters to us and we will do all we can to insure that safety. So please buckle up," concluded Kelly.