No seat belt: Death risk 47 times higher

Do the math on seat belts and the conclusion is clear: Not clicking can get you killed.

In 2009, Ohioans involved in motor vehicle crashes who didn’t wear safety belts were an astounding 47 times more likely to die than those who did, a Dayton Daily News analysis has found.

The study of almost 300,000 motor vehicle crashes in 2009, the latest complete crash data available from the state, found that only 3 percent of the people traveling in cars and trucks weren’t wearing a seat belt in the crashes, but those 3 percent accounted for more than half of the 731 deaths.

Another 267 traffic deaths that year involved other vehicles, such as motorcycles and bicycles, not equipped with seat belts, or pedestrians. In all, 1,022 people died in traffic accidents in 2009.

The death rate for those wearing a seat belt in crashes was less than 1 in 2,000. But for those not secured, the rate was almost 22 in 1,000 — 46.9 times higher than those buckled up. Those not wearing belts were also 10 times more likely to suffer an incapacitating injury.

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