TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Since Sunday, at least two people have died because they were not wearing their seat belts. Officials now more than ever are urging us to buckle up. According to TxDOT, just in these first 25 days of the year, there have been at least 10 deadly crashes in East Texas in which a seat belt could have saved a life.

“Texas law requires that everybody in every seating position where there is a seatbelt available, those need to be used. Whether you are in the front seat or the back seat, seatbelts are required for every occupant of the vehicle,” said Texas Department of Public Safety, Sergeant Jean Dark.

Seatbelts saved an estimated 1,500 lives in 2017 alone.

“47% of the people who are killed were not wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts save lives and buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash,” said spokesperson for AAA Texas, Daniel Armbruster.

Not wearing a seatbelt is not a fashion statement. Unbuckled passengers can very easily be thrown out during the impact of a crash through the front, rear or side windows.

“The seatbelt is designed to keep the body in the actual seat. So, if you have airbags and they deploy in a crash you are there to receive the benefit of those airbags,” said Sergeant Dark.

Airbags along with seat belts can become your only saving grace.

“Airbags are designed to work with seatbelts not replace them. A lot of people believe the myth that if I have airbags I don’t have to wear a seatbelt. That’s wrong. The airbag can actually kill you if you’re not wearing a seatbelt,” said Armbruster.

According to AAA Texas, a fatal car crash occurs on Texas roadways every two and a half hours. Texas has not seen a deathless day in over 15 years.

In order to help combat this issue, simply buckle up. When it comes to children eight-years- old and under, the safest place they could be during a crash is in their car seat. Along with the whole family, buckled and ready to go. Properly restraining yourself and your children in your vehicle can save your life and others down the road.