Law enforcement stresses the importance of buckling up

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - As summer approaches, more people will be heading out for a nice warm drive but law enforcement agencies are reminding people to remember to buckle up, or it could cost them.

Over 10,000 Americans were killed in car accidents just for not buckling their seat belts in 2017.

It may be common sense, but people are still forgetting to buckle up especially in rural areas.

“It's definitely something that could be prevented, they probably could have walked away from but without having a seat belt on, in my experience, the injuries are a lot more severe for them,” Hastings Police Department Cpl. Larry Johnson said.

Some of the highest number of seat belt related fatalities are seen with males 18-34, the population who is least likely buckle up.

“So as a trauma nurse, we've seen several fatalities from being ejected from the vehicle,” CHI Health St. Francis Trauma Nurse Coordinator Kristi Farley said. “When you're not restrained inside the vehicle you will fly out of the vehicle or around inside the vehicle and injuring others within your vehicles that are restrained.”

The Click it or Ticket campaign aims to have more patrols on the road between May 20 to June 2 looking for people not using their seat belts.

Organizations like the Hall, Adams, and Buffalo County Sheriff's Offices and Hastings Police are participating.

Nurses at CHI Health St. Francis say they see many people in their ER die when they didn't have to.

“Being in a trauma bay and seeing the hustle and bustle of us trying to do everything we can to resuscitate after your injuries we see a lot of 'I wish I would have' and 'I will definitely be wearing my seat belt from here on out,’” Farley said.

St. Francis will be hosting a number of agencies on Monday to demonstrate how to properly buckle a car seat, test what it feels like in an accident without a seat belt, and give people a chance to speak to law enforcement on what they look for.