Studies have shown that seatbelt usage can prevent 50 percent of fatalities and 65 percent of serious injuries. As we have been patrolling the area, we have noticed an increased usage of safety belts. However, we have noticed one area of concern that we would like to bring to your attention. Georgia law requires that the safety restraint be worn properly. Often we have seen people wearing their seat belts, but the shoulder strap is either behind their back or underneath their arm.

If you are involved in a head on collision and you have your shoulder strap behind your back, this can mean the difference between life and death. The shoulder strap is designed to catch at your collar bone and keep you from going forward and hitting the steering wheel or windshield. This also prevents you from hitting the airbag full force, which comes out at approximately 200 miles per hour.

For those of you who wear the strap underneath your arm, we also have a word of caution. When you are involved in a crash, the belt is going to lock and it is going to be across your ribs. This could result in broken ribs, which could then pierce your lungs or heart. Aside from these safety concerns, you could also still be issued a traffic citation for improperly wearing your belt.

So buckle up properly and be safe.