AgriLife Extension safety expert: Pickups rock! Unfortunately, they also roll

May 2, 2012

Texans have a love affair with pickups, and while residents of the Lone Star State think these vehicles ‘rock,’ they also need to know that they roll, said a Texas AgriLife Extension Service safety expert.

“Even though pickups are larger than cars and their owners tend to feel safer in them, they are twice as likely to roll over as passenger cars,” said Bev Kellner, AgriLife Extension program specialist-passenger safety at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Kellner said about one in four vehicles registered in Texas is a pickup truck. And according to a 2011 study conducted by the Texas Transportation Institute, only 80 percent of pickup truck drivers buckle up, as compared with more than 90 percent of regular seat belt users in all other types of vehicles.

“Pickup truck drivers and their passengers also typically have a lower seat-belt usage rate than drivers of other types of vehicles,” she said. ““Statistically, pickup truck drivers and passengers are the least likely to buckle up. Also, one out of every two pickup truck drivers killed in a traffic crash in 2010 was not wearing a seat belt.”

Kellner said the lower overall seat belt use by pickup drivers is likely a combination of the false sense of security and an incorrect belief that seat belts don’t need to be used during short trips.

“Pickup and passengers also tend to be younger, male drivers who are either not getting or are disregarding the well-known fact that seat belts save lives,” she said. “And pickup crashes can be especially serious – even deadly – due to their tendency to roll over and for unbelted occupants to be thrown from the vehicle.”

Click It or Ticket is a two-week-long program designed to emphasize the ease – and cost effectiveness – of using a seat belt, Kellner said, adding that AgriLife Extension supports the campaign and is working in partnership to help promote its positive messages about seat belt use.

She noted that this marks the eleventh year of the Click It or Ticket campaign in Texas, and that the campaign has saved an estimated 2,843 lives statewide and has prevented more than 48,000 serious injuries from car crashes.

The Click It or Ticket campaign time frame includes the Memorial Day weekend, and this year the campaign is scheduled for May 21-June 3. During this time, extra law enforcement representatives will be on the roads enforcing the seat belt and child restraint laws in an effort to save lives.

“The campaign will also stress that under Texas law seat belt use is now required for both front seat and back seat passengers,” Kellner said. “Fines for noncompliance can range from $25 dollars to $250 dollars. Motorists can save money and, more importantly, save lives by buckling up on every trip.”

Explore further: Keep your kids properly secured while traveling

Related Stories

Keep your kids properly secured while traveling

September 26, 2011

Child Passenger Safety Week is celebrated every year to remind parents and other caregivers of the need to keep children of all ages properly restrained in a seat that meets their weight and height requirements.

Recommended for you

Big Data can save lives, says leading cancer expert

May 16, 2016

The sharing of genetic information from millions of cancer patients around the world could be key to revolutionising cancer prevention and care, according to a leading cancer expert from Queen's University Belfast.

New soap to ward off malaria carrying mosquitoes

May 13, 2016

(Medical Xpress)—Gérard Niyondiko along with colleagues Frank Langevin and Lisa Barutel has posted a project on the crowd source funding site ulule for a product called Faso Soap. They claim the soap can cut in half the ...

Smartphones uncover how the world sleeps

May 6, 2016

A pioneering study of worldwide sleep patterns combines math modeling, mobile apps and big data to parse the roles society and biology each play in setting sleep schedules.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.