Country music artist Mickey Gilley is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to promote seatbelt usage after surviving a rollover crash in Texas on Jan. 3.
At the time of the crash, Gilley’s vehicle was struck by another vehicle whose driver failed to halt at a stop sign. Gilley is currently recovering from several injuries, including a fractured ankle, fractured shoulder, cracked sternum and cracked rib. He credits his seatbelt for saving his life.
“Had I not been wearing my seatbelt, I’m sure I would’ve been ejected,” Gilley said. “My car rolled about three times over. I want to share my story with Tennesseans to encourage everyone in the South to take pride in wearing seatbelts, because seatbelts do save lives.”
According to the Tennessee Integrated Traffic Analysis Network, 80 people died statewide in vehicle over turn/rollover crashes last year. Thirty-two (32%) of those individuals were not wearing seatbelts.
Beginning Feb. 1, the THSO will launch its fifth annual Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) campaign. This statewide initiative is designed to increase Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate through community outreach, occupant-protection education and targeted seatbelt enforcement.
“In 2016, Tennessee’s average seatbelt usage rate was 88.95 percent,” THSO Director Vic Donoho said. “Last year, the state’s usage rate decreased to 88.51 percent. Our goal this year is to achieve 100 percent seatbelt usage across Tennessee through the SAFE campaign and other occupant-protection initiatives.”


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