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Low Safety Belt Use


Safety belt use continues to be lowest with 16 to 24-year-olds

The problem of low safety belt use:

  • About 3 out of every 5 teenagers involved in a fatal crashes were not wearing a seat belt including drivers and passengers (IIHS)
  • Passengers between the ages of 18-19 years old had the highest percentage of unbelted passengers involved in fatal crashes (IIHS)
  • In 2012, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,174 lives. Seat belts have saved nearly 63,000 lives during the 5-year-period from 2008 to 2012
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • You can be ticketed for not wearing a safety belt
  • A safety belt does not protect you when it’s not worn properly
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Overall seat belt use is improving among teens.   In 2013, 7.6% of teens reported never or rarely wearing a seat belt when driving with someone else within the last 30 days compared to 25.95 in 1991
    (CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, U.S., 2013).

What to do about safety belts:

  • When referring to safety belts, “properly worn” means with both straps snugly fitted to transfer the impact of the collision to the parts of your body that can take it – your hipbones and shoulder bones. With just the shoulder strap on, you can slide out from under the seat belt and be strangled, while the lap belt alone doesn’t keep your face from hitting the steering wheel
    (Oklahoma State University)
  • A safety belt is your best and last protection if you are in an accident
  • During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Being thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Air bags are designed to work with safety belts, not replace them. In fact, if you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into an opening airbag and be injured or even killed
    (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
  • Get in the habit of always putting your safety belt on every time you get into a vehicle. No matter where you are sitting or the distance you are going
  • Ask your passengers to buckle up also. You are responsible for their safety