ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says half of the fatal car crashes across the country in 2021 could have been avoided if the passenger was buckled in.

The same statistic applies to Albemarle County. In 2021 and 2022, in more than half of the fatal crashes that occurred, the person who died wasn't buckled in.

Officer Paul Quillon says he's not surprised.

He said there have been two fatal crashes so far this year and both victims were unrestrained.

"Recently, I've seen crashes that have been what I would have considered survivable based on the damage to the vehicle and the situation surrounding the crash that ended up in fatalities because people weren't buckled," he said.

Quillon said when a crash is happening, you won't have the two seconds it would have taken to buckle in.

He added that everyone and everything should be strapped in, including heavy objects and maybe even pets.