Ethan, 17 and Trey, 14, were in this 2005 Ford F-250 King Ranch Edition on a rural road early one morning in February 2009 when one of the front tires blew. The truck went out of control, slammed into a culvert, flipped end over end, hit a rock embankment and landed upside down on the side of the road. No other cars were involved in the wreck. When the truck finally came to a stop, both teens were hanging upside down, held in their seats by their safety belts. Ethan unbuckled himself, released Trey, then kicked out a window to escape the wreckage.
EMS rushed them to the emergency room where they were treated for minor injuries. Ethan, the driver, had a sprained ankle and Trey, asleep in the passenger’s seat, sprained his wrist, injured his shoulder and needed 12 staples and stitches for cuts on his head. Safety belts and airbags are credited with saving the lives of both teens.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is calling on teens to love their lives and buckle up. This year TxDOT is partnering with more than 700 high schools and community colleges with let teens know that buckling up can save your life.
Here are the facts:
Teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as other drivers.
In Texas, the use of seat belts saved an estimated 1,425 lives in 2010. But, at the same time, nearly half of the 291 teen drivers and occupants of passenger vehicles, ages 16–20, killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing their safety belts at the time of the crash.
As part of this years campaign, TxDOT will be visiting high traffic locations with the wrecked truck shown above. The truck will tour the following areas:
- Bryan – February 14
- San Antonio – February 15-16
- Dallas – February 18
- Rio Grande Valley – February 23
- Huntsville – February 25
- Houston – February 27-28
- Austin – March 8
- Arlington – April 1
Teens are also invited to share their stories, win prizes and learn more about the importance of wearing their seat belts at the website, www.seatbeltsrock.com.
Learn more at Texas Department of Transportation>