Message Monday - Seat belts, the gift that keeps giving all year

12-25 message mondayYou know when your grandma tells you that she doesn’t need a gift and that all she wants for Christmas is for you to be there? She’s not lying.

Luckily, seat belts save thousands of lives every year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says in 2015, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives in the United States. While nearly 90.1 percent of all drivers in our country buckle up, there are still 27.5 million people each year who risk their lives by not taking two seconds to click that buckle.

In Iowa, our seat belt usage rate for drivers is more than 94 percent. That seems great until you realize that of the total number of fatalities, more than 40 percent of those people were not wearing seatbelts. A simple click could have made it possible for hundreds of families to not have an empty seat at the holiday table this year.

This is the season to celebrate those you love.

The fatality count of 327 is an increase of four since last Monday. In all of 2016, 402 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

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