According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), such crashes make up just 2% of crashes in the United States, yet account for more than 10% of vehicle fatalities annually. The NHTSA also found that while seatbelt use has increased nationwide, in Western states like Arizona, according to a survey conducted last year, seat belt use decreased from 94.5 percent in 2017 to 92.7 percent in 2018. Wearing a seatbelt in a head-on collision is not a guarantee of surviving an accident, but it can improve your chances of getting out of a head-on crash.
Tuscon.com reported last month about an accident that happened on the afternoon of Monday, February 11th in which not wearing a seatbelt might have cost each of them their lives. Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, Navideh Forghani, said in a statement that none of the three victims in the head-on collision had been wearing their seatbelts at the time of the fatal crash.
The accident happened when Durrell Smith, 26, was driving his vehicle southbound on Sunland Gin Road when it wandered over the center line and struck a Ford SUV in a head-on collision. The SUV had two occupants inside.
Both Smith and a passenger inside the SUV were pronounced dead at the scene, while the driver of the SUV, James McNeil, 83 was airlifted to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries. McNeil later died at the hospital from injuries sustained in the crash. The identity of the SUV passenger was not released.
Officials have ruled out alcohol or drug impairment as having had any role in the crash.