More than half of all young passengers who die in crashes are not buckled up
A Seat Belt Can Save Your Life:
- Seat belts saved an estimated 14,668 lives in 2016 and an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved with 100% seatbelt use1.
- You can be ticketed for not wearing a seat belt – even if you are sitting in the back seat. If you are in a state that does not have a primary seat belt law (police can’t pull you over just for not wearing a seat belt) check to verify if there is a law that requires anyone under the age of 18 to be buckled up. Visit here for more seatbelt laws.
- Overall seat belt use is improving among teens. In 2015, 6.1% of teen passengers reported never or rarely wearing a seat belt recently, nearly a 20% decrease since 19912.
- A seat belt does not protect you when it’s not worn properly3.
- Safety experts recommend that teens under the age of 13 always ride in the back seat. Research shows that children involved in car crashes are 38% less likely to be injured while riding in the back seat instead of the front seat5.
- The front seat presents two dangers to junior high teens:
- They can be badly hurt or killed when the airbag deploys.
- They are more likely to be hurt in a crash, because most wrecks involve the front end of the vehicle.
- “Properly worn” seat belts mean both straps are snugly fitted to 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 air bag2.
- If the seat belt does not fit you properly, move to the back and use a booster, if needed. It may not be cool but you’ll be safe! Being belted in wrong can be just as dangerous as not wearing a seat belt at all.
- During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Being thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly3. Remember, you can also do a lot of damage to other passengers if you’re not buckled up.
- Air bags are designed to work with seat 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 killed1.
- A seat belt is your best and last protection if you are in a crash.
Be a Leader:
- Get in the habit of always putting your seat belt on every time you get into a vehicle. No matter the distance you are going.
- Help out by asking other passengers to buckle up. Help be responsible for everyone’s safety.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Traffic Safety Facts, Occupant Protection in Passenger Vehicles, 2016
- Dunn, L., Holliday, A., & Vegega, M. (2016). Motor vehicle occupant protection facts – Children, youth, young adults (Fact book. Report No. DOT HS 8120521). Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
- Oklahoma State University
- Child Passenger Safety at CHOP-2010
- AAA Exchange (2016)