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Summer driving includes buckling those seatbelts. 

Summer holidays — especially the Fourth of July — are the deadliest holidays to be on the road. But wearing a seatbelt could be the difference between life and death. In 2020, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported nearly 70% of traffic fatalities involved drivers and passengers who weren’t wearing seatbelts.

“Wearing a seatbelt is one of the healthiest decisions you can make,” said Mike McGee, RN, CEN, trauma prevention expert at North Kansas City Hospital. “By simply buckling up, drivers and front-seat passengers can reduce their risk of a fatal injury by nearly 50%.”

• Missouri law requires drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt any time a motor vehicle is being operated.

• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports approximately 90% of Americans wear seatbelts. This results in an estimated 15,000 lives saved each year.

• Bruising is the most common injury in drivers and passengers who are wearing a seatbelt during an accident. However, unbuckled individuals can be lodged within the vehicle or ejected entirely, which is almost always fatal.

• Airbags don’t replace seatbelts; they are designed to work together. Without a seatbelt, a deployed airbag can result in serious injury and sometimes death.

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