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For a lot of people today, wearing a seat belt has always been something you were required to wear in your vehicle.

In 1986, it became the law for people to buckle-up. At the time, there was some resistance from some folks who didn’t feel like they should be forced to wear one — after all, they had survived all of those years without wearing one.

But as the population grew and more cars were on the road, there were more crashes — and ultimately more deaths and serious injuries resulting from crashes.

Over the years, more and more people came to realize the importance of wearing seat belts and made a habit of it.

And yet, so many people still refuse to wear one. Even more disappointing is that so many people fail to properly secure their children.

It truly is one of those little things that mean a lot. It is so easy and quick to do, but by doing it, you could save yourself from serious injury or even death.

Even with airbags in the car, if you’re not wearing a seatbelt, the amount of force of your body slamming into a steering wheel, dashboard or other passengers is immense.

And not to be too graphic, but if you’re not strapped-in and the vehicle rolls, you’re either going to get banged-up really bad inside the car, or you’re going to be ejected and get banged-up badly that way.

As Sheriff, I must tell you that the law requires you to wear a seatbelt, and children must be properly secured.

As a fellow human, I beg you to take the time to make sure everyone in your vehicle is safely secured.

Grady Judd is the Sheriff of Polk County. Learn more about Judd and the Polk County Sheriff's Office at polksheriff.org.