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Start the New Year with a resolution

To always wear your seat belt. It is a simple message, and it does not take much effort to comply with it. A few seconds as you enter your vehicle. Those few seconds could mean the difference between surviving a vehicle crash with a few bruises or dying at the scene. A crash last weekend on Interstate 95 in Westport provides a tragic reminder of the importance of that message.

A crash occurred. Something that happens virtually every day on the roads of Connecticut. This one was a fatal crash, which in 2015 in Connecticut, killed 253 individuals, or about one person ever 1.44 days. A vehicle struck a van in the rear and the driver of the van lost control, went off the road and down an embankment. The vehicle rolled over and ejected one of the occupants. He died at the scene. The two other occupants who wore their seat belts survived.

The roads of Connecticut carry more than vehicles. They carry risk, and every time you or members of your family drive to work, school, the store or a friend's home, they are exposed to that risk. You can help your odds by not driving while intoxicated, or when fatigued or on drugs. You can also drive carefully, paying attention to congestion and weather.

What you cannot do is stop other driver's negligence. This is where seat belts come in. While they can save every driver in every crash, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that about 10,000 unrestrained vehicle occupants die every year in crashes.

It is also worth noting that a secondary crash occurred when a vehicle struck a truck that had slowed due to the congestion from the first crash. Driving is a complex activity that always deserves your full attention.

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