OPP: A quarter of fatal crash victims not wearing seatbelt

ORILLIA – Police are again stressing the importance of wearing a seatbelt after a recent study found a quarter of the people who died in vehicle crashes were not wearing restraints. 

The OPP announced last week that a “ten-year data trend analysis” showed 594 of 2,483 people (23.9 per cent) who died in crashes on OPP-patrolled roads, from 2009 to 2018, were not wearing a seat belt.

“As a driver or passenger, you can do more than just buckle up,” stated OPP Commissioner Thomas Carrique.

“If anyone in the vehicle is not wearing one, ask them to buckle up for everyone’s safety. 

“Remind them that during a collision, unrestrained vehicle occupants may become human projectiles and pose an additional threat to other people in the vehicle, even those who are wearing a seat belt,” he said.

The OPP analysis shows that drivers account for 75% of the total number of seatbelt-related deaths; and males aged 25 to 64 account for the highest number of seat belt-related deaths.  

“It’s simple – wearing a seatbelt can prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths in the event of a serious collision,” stated Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

Transportation minister Jeff Yurek also urged parents to ensure children are in the appropriate car or booster seat for their age, height and weight “every time they get into a vehicle.”

The OPP conducted a provincial seatbelt campaign over the Easter long weekend (April 19 to 22).