Driving instructor urges seat belt safety after 2 teens' deaths - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Driving instructor urges seat belt safety after 2 teens' deaths

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Seat belts are still your first line of defense in surviving a car crash. Seat belts are still your first line of defense in surviving a car crash.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Officials say the two girls that were killed in recent car wrecks were not wearing seat belts.  Driving experts say parents should use these events to remind their young drivers about the importance of seat belts and driving safely.

 Willard Scissum has been teaching people how to drive for more than 20 years.  He's had a countless number of teens taking their turn in his driver's seat. He said he makes sure they know the rules of the road before they drive his car.

"I tell them to adjust the seat, adjust the mirrors and put on the seat belt," he said. "If they do that, they can save lives and might save someone else's life. We put more emphasis now on wearing seatbelts than we did then. We've seen so many fatalities."

Two of the most recent car accident fatalities took the lives of 16-year-old Erin Clark and 17 year old Augustea Bolden. State troopers said the girls had one thing in common, they were not buckled up.

"We are losing too many of our youngsters because of seat belts and not doing what we say and we have to do a better job," Scissum said. 

According to teendriversource.com, 58 percent of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt in 2011.  That's an increase from 56 percent in 2008.

WAFF 48 investigated the number of deadly crashes in Alabama so far this year where seatbelts were not used. According to the Department of Public Safety, State Troopers said 421 people have died in vehicle crashes thus far. Of that number, 206 victims were not wearing seatbelts. A preliminary data shows 53 people died in crashes in October, 28 were not wearing seatbelts.

This is up from September where 42 people died in crashes, 15 were not wearing seatbelts.

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