August 16, 2018 5:20 pm
Updated: August 17, 2018 9:20 am

N.S. man encouraging others to buckle up following serious crash

WATCH: A law mandating seat belt use has been in place for decades. But police say some people are still choosing to not buckle up when on the road. As Natasha Pace reports, one man says his seatbelt helped save his life.

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Jacob Michelin feels fortunate he was able to walk away from a serious collision with just a few scratches.

“I didn’t realize how much damage was actually done at the time at the scene,” said Michelin. “When I was kind of going around the whole car and seeing the damage done to it, it kind of sunk in how lucky I was to walk away from it and how lucky dad was.”

WATCH: No seatbelts, distractions, impaired driving still concern for N.S. police

Michelin was driving in Truro, N.S., with his father last week en route to the airport when he says he collided with another vehicle after it crossed into his lane.

“I ended up striking her car here and just sort of ricochet off her car and it pushed us into the ditch and as we slid along the ditch we hit the culvert, that’s the impact that I really felt because it flipped us up end over end,” he said.

“When we landed on the roof, the windshield exploded in my face.”

READ: 35-year-old Halifax woman killed along Highway 104

Michelin only bought his car three weeks ago. Despite the vehicle being a write off, he says things could have been a lot worse.

“If I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, if my dad wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, we for sure would not have walked away from it.”

WATCH: First responders say Nova Scotia motorists are ignoring ‘move over’ law

The investigation into the collision remains ongoing.

Police say there have so far been 35 fatalities and 89 serious injury collisions this year, in areas that are patrolled by RCMP in Nova Scotia. Some of which, police say, could have been prevented if people were wearing seatbelts.

 “To go and have to tell someone that their loved one is not coming home tonight when it could have been prevented is very frustrating,” said RCMP Cpl. Dal Hutchinson.

Watch: RCMP undergo collision analysis training in Shearwater, NS

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Police and Michelin are hoping his story of how a seatbelt allowed him to escape a serious crash without injury will help encourage other people to follow the law and buckle up.

“If I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt, I definitely wouldn’t have walked away,” said Michelin.

“Nobody goes to work or out socially and gets in a car and thinks, ‘Today’s the day I’m going to get into a collision so I’m going to wear my seatbelt.’ We don’t know when that’s going to happen, that’s why we have to wear our seatbelts 100 per cent of the time,” added RCMP Collision Reconstruction Analyst Cpl. David McLean.

READ MORE: Two people ejected from vehicle along Nova Scotia’s Highway 103

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