This month, SGI is reminding people to buckle up their seatbelts when they take to the roads.
"Buckle up, it's just that easy" is the slogan for this month's campaign. With seatbelts being required by law for 45 years now in Saskatchewan, it's a little surreal to think that it's not automatic yet for some.
Every month in Saskatchewan, around 341 people are ticketed for not wearing their seat belts.
Tyler McMurchy, a media spokesperson for SGI, is encouraging people to ensure their safety by simply strapping in.
"I think that's too high and we want people, as they're entering the new year thinking about their resolutions, to think about resolving to always wear a seat belt whenever they get near a vehicle," said McMurchy. "Buckle up each and every time."
This year can be the year people take the easy steps towards protecting themselves and other passengers by strapping in, buckling up, and making the habit click.
"Losing weight is hard and learning a new language takes a lot of time, but buckling up is easy and it takes only a couple of seconds and it could be a decision that saves your life," McMurchy stressed.
Since the law was implemented in 1977, plenty of studies have proven time and time again that seat belts save lives in the event of motor vehicle collisions, rollovers, and other incidents.
In the event that a vehicle is travelling at 50 kilometres per hour and comes to a sudden and complete stop, the force is equivalent to falling out of a four-story building. Seat belts absorb that force, keeping an individual in place.
"No human on Earth is strong enough to brace themselves for that kind of impact," said McMurchy. "When you imagine that kind of force being exerted on your own body and the bodies of, potentially, the people in the front seat, you can see why [not wearing a seat belt] is a really bad idea."
In 2021, one-third of fatalities from motor vehicle collisions were individuals not wearing seat belts. Buckling up can mean the difference between life and death in the event of a sudden collision.
"Even if you're feeling very safe because you're the world's best driver, you have to remember that collisions don't always occur as a result of a driver error," cautioned McMurchy. "There are many factors that can lead to a collision, whether it's an animal appearing on the highway in front of you, road conditions that you weren't expecting, mechanical failure, other drivers; there are all kinds of factors that can lead to somebody being in a collision, no matter how skilled the person behind the wheel is."
Even if an individual buckles up, ensuring that all passengers are also wearing their harnesses is important. Tickets can be distributed if there are any passengers not wearing their seat belts in the vehicle.
"It's a $175 ticket," shared McMurchy. "If they have passengers under the age of 16, they're responsible for making sure that those kids are properly restrained and it can be a separate ticket for each one that's not."
This year, it's important to make the resolution to always wear a seat belt. It could make all the difference in the event of a collision.