Why so many fatalities? Many who have died or sustained serious injuries in recent Treasure Valley crashes werent wearing seat belts. Two teens died and a third was critically injured after being ejected from a car Sunday. The only occupant of the car who buckled up walked away with a minor hand injury, investigators said. In March, two teens died and two suffered serious injuries in a Connector crash just off the Curtis Road off-ramp. Again, the one passenger who wore a seat belt sustained less serious injuries.
Is this a trend? Between 2006 and 2011, seat belt use across Idaho has been virtually unchanged, at around 80 percent, the Idaho Transportation Department reports. In Ada and Canyon counties, more than 90 percent of drivers and passengers wore seat belts in 2010 and 2011.
The difference? According to data, Idahoans who dont buckle up are nearly 12 times more likely to die in wrecks than those who do. The agency says seat belts could have saved 39 lives in Idaho last year.