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At the beep, restrain yourself

Last week we reported on two fatal crashes — one in Pierce County, one in St. Croix County.

In Pierce a 21-year-old man died in a head-on crash on Highway 10 near the Gas Lite Bar & Grill between Prescott and Ellsworth.

Cause of the crash wasn't immediately known. Alcohol didn't seem to be a factor. But the driver who died was unbuckled. The driver who survived was.

In St. Croix a 57-year-old man allegedly ran a stop sign and struck another vehicle at a rural Spring Valley intersection in the town of Cady.

Besides running a stop sign the traffic victim apparently was unbuckled. The other man, a Schwan's driver, was buckled and survived.

Today most of us buckle up. But a few still don't. Those who don’t put themselves in harm's way. A range of statistics show more than half of those who die in crashes were unbuckled.

Beyond the personal tragedies of such deaths, we all pay in the form of higher auto insurance rates and health care costs due to those who ignore or forget to use their seatbelts.

And they're so hard to ignore. Unless the system's disabled, today's vehicles beep annoyingly until driver and front passenger buckle up.

So don't ignore the beeping by waiting till it stops. Take three seconds. Fasten your harness belt. Improve your odds to live longer.