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Buckle Up For Megan

Megan Miller was killed in a car crash on US 60 in Owensboro on March 19, 2006.
While Megan faithfully wore her safety belt, she was not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash.

Her parents, Tim and Mischelle Miller, wanted to do something to honor her memory.  They chose to channel their grief into “Buckle Up for Megan.”  The program initially focused on urging Megan’s teenage friends to always buckle up when driving.

Over the last 6 years, the effort has evolved into an effort to promote safety belt use by teens and adults across the region.  With help from daughter, Morgan, their son, Miles, other family members, and friends, they have raised funds to purchase billboards in the Owensboro area.  They have put together presentations for schools and manned booths at community events, all aimed at promoting safety belt use.

To support their work promoting safety and seat belt use, the Miller family has established a Facebook Cause page at http://www.causes.com/causes/131734-buckle-up-for-megan.

They use the page to remind everyone that:  (1) Seatbelts save lives, and (2) It only takes 2 seconds to
click it !

Patrick Doheny, Flickr

To commemorate the anniversary of Megan’s death, the Miller family has put together a week of activities to promote safety belt use at area schools.

Those activities include:

·         Wednesday, March 21st at Trinity High School in Whitesville – mock crash at 9am

·         Wednesday, March 21st at Daviess Co. High School- rollover simulator and Distracted Driving
simulator during lunch shifts, signing pledges

·         Friday, March 23rd Apollo High School- mock crash

·         Seat Belt Use Checks at various area high schools

Matt McCoy with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety will also provide the Distracted
Driving (D2) Simulator at DCHS.

benkaffsblog, Flickr

So far this year, 60% of the 122 people who have died on Kentucky highways were not wearing a safety belt.

Seat belt use has been increasing and now averages 88% nationally.   However there are still groups less likely to wear seat belts:  teens, commercial drivers, males in rural areas, pick-up truck drivers, people driving at night, and people who have been drinking.   Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Wearing a seat belt can reduce your risk of crash injuries by 50 percent.  Seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008.  Forty-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2007 were unbelted.  A 2009 NHTSA study indicates more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented annually if safety belt use reached a 90 percent level in every state.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety attempt to support the safety activities of the Miller family and their “Buckle up for Megan”  campaign whenever possible.  They have received several significant safety awards in recognition of their work.

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