The Importance of wearing a Seatbelt
One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. In 2017, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt – the national use rate was at 89.6 percent in 2018.
Understand the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing a seat belt and learn what you can do to make sure you and your family are properly buckled up every time.
Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47 percent were not wearing seat belts. In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts.
The consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear:
1. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.
2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.
3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.
Here are the top five reasons why wearing a safety belt saves lives:
1. Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.
2. Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag. Such force could injure or even kill you.
3. Passengers in the rear seat of an automobile who use both lap and should safety belts are 44% more likely to survive in crash. The percentage increases to 73% for rear seat passengers in Vans or SUV vehicles.
4. Wearing a seat belt prevents passenger ejection during a severe accident that involves a rollover. The chances of surviving this type of accident increases 45% when wearing a proper safety restraint device. In pickup trucks, that number increases to 60%.
5. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.
Seatbelts can help to save lives. They are important safety features that, like air bags, help to protect a driver or passenger in a collision and minimize injuries. Those who do not wear their seatbelts while in a vehicle put themselves at greater risk of severe injury or even death. In addition to this higher injury risk, not wearing a seatbelt could also hurt your insurance claim should you be involved in an accident.
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