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On Monday, February 20, 2012, an eight year old girl was tragically killed in a vehicle crash in Hall County.

According to WSBTV, Channel Two News, Aylin Rodriguez was a passenger in the back seat of her family’s minivan when the minivan was hit by another driver who ran a stop sign. Young Aylin was thrown from a back window of the minivan and killed. She was not wearing a seatbelt. Her brother was also in the car and thankfully did not sustain any injuries. He was wearing a seatbelt.

Witnesses said that the driver of the Altima, who struck the minivan, ran a red light. Police are still investigating this tragic crash and charges are pending.

Aylin attended World Language Academy Charter School and was in the second grade. Leaders at her school called her “a bright, inquisitive girl.” Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

These types of car accidents unfortunately happen every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there were about 5,811,000 traffic crashes reported to the police in 2008. Of these crashes reports, 37,261 people were killed and 2,346,000 people were injured. A study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that one of the main dangers on the road is distraction from the job of driving.

According to the NHTSA, the first thing you need to know is that “buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.” Between 2004 to 2008, seat belts saved over 75,000 lives. And in 2008 alone, seat belts saved more than 13,000 lives.

The NHTSA also says that “air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them.” The NHTSA says, “If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag; a movement of such force could injure or even kill you.”

Related to the safety issue of wearing a seat belt, attorneys from across the country are launching a campaign called “End Distracted Driving” to make students more conscious of the dangers of distracted driving. The use of seat belts and focused drivers will help everyone.

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