CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Utah couple shares story, says seatbelt saved their lives

Nov 17, 2020, 1:34 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 12:59 pm
Jillian White and Ty Bolton were driving to Mexico in December 2018 when they collided with a wrong...
Jillian White and Ty Bolton were driving to Mexico in December 2018 when they collided with a wrong-way driver. (PHOTO: Utah Highway Patrol)
(PHOTO: Utah Highway Patrol)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah couple is spreading the message that wearing a seatbelt can save lives. 

Wearing a seatbelt can be “life-or-death”

Jillian White and Ty Bolton were driving down to Mexico in December 2018 when they collided with a wrong-way driver. The couple says they are alive to talk about the accident, largely due to the fact that they were wearing their seatbelts.
 
“As we started to roll, I hit my head. I remember hitting my head on the first roll and then ‘coming to’ as the dust was settling,” Bolton explained.
 
The couple was only accompanied in the vehicle by their dog, although thankfully, everyone inside escaped with their life.
 
“At that point, I looked over at Jillian and she was like ‘I broke my hand,'” he said. “I’m like OK, you’re talking to me, that’s a good sign.”
 
The couple says their main takeaway from the frightening encounter is that drivers only have control over their own actions. 
 
“That night we had no idea there would be a wrong-way driver,” said White. “I know, for sure, we would not be alive today if we hadn’t put our seatbelts on when we first got into the car that night.”
 

Click It or Ticket

Utah Highway Patrol will be ramping up seatbelt enforcement through the end of the month, as part of their “Click It or Ticket” campaign. Officials say more than 775 additional shifts, specifically geared towards seatbelt compliance, will take place statewide in November.
 
According to Utah Highway Patrol, over the past five years, about 40% of fatal crashes involve a driver or passenger not wearing their seatbelt. 
 
They add that around 90% of Utahns already regularly wear a seatbelt, but that number needs to be a lot closer to 100% in order to bring down fatal crashes.

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