‘Without my seatbelt, I could’ve flown over’: SDDOT reminding everyone to buckle up

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Driving safely is of course important all year long, and with the busy summer traffic and many people heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, we are seeing why it is certainly important right now to pay attention to the road and buckle up. Through their ‘Counting on You’ campaign, the South Dakota Department of Transportation is sharing employee stories of crashes to bring about awareness of safe driving.

A car crash can happen at any moment, no matter how far you’re traveling.

Amy Greba with the South Dakota Department of Transportation learned that firsthand when a deer jumped in front of her car during a six-mile trip to work that she took every day.

“There was some gravel on the road so I hit that gravel and it just was kind of the perfect storm and I skidded, my wheels hit the shoulder, I rolled, and if it wasn’t for this lone tree that was in the middle of the ditch, I would’ve continued to roll,” Amy Greba, training specialist with the SDDOT, said.

She says her seatbelt saved her life.

“Everything was crushed around except for the little spot right over my head,” Greba said. “So I knew that if I had been bounced around without my seatbelt, I could’ve flown over or fallen over.”

Greba’s crash was in 2012, but its lesson is still prevalent today: always wear your seatbelt.

The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety says they’ve seen an increase in car crash fatalities this year as compared to this time last year. They say that a trend they see every year, though, is that around 60 percent of car crash fatalities happen because people weren’t wearing their seatbelts.

“So what we’re seeing at the department and in the data that we’re getting from those fatal crashes is an increase in those risky driving behaviors just all across the board,” Amanda Hossle, director of the office of highway safety, said. “Whether it’s going over the allowed speed limit, again, not wearing a seatbelt, impaired driving of any sort whether it’s alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, anything like that and then distracted driving are almost all the factors that we’re seeing in those crashes.”

With the busy summer traffic and now the Sturgis rally, Hossle says it’s especially important to pay attention when behind the wheel.

“Watch out for everyone that’s on the road, especially motorcyclists,” Hossle said. “You know, when you make a bad decision behind the wheel, you might not be the only person that’s affected by that decision whether that’s getting seriously injured or killed in a crash.”

And click that seatbelt.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation has been sharing stories like Greba’s on their social media pages.

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