52 % of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2015 were unrestrained.
- Teens have the lowest seat belt use rates of any age group, leading to deadly consequences
- Only 65 percent of teens consistently wear their seat belts as both a driver and passenger
- A total of 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015.
- More than half (range: 52%-59%) of teens (13-19 years) and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
Quiz: Seat Belt Trivia
Another Sobering Statistic
The Department of Transportation states people not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. In fatal crashes, more than three out of four people who are ejected die from their injuries.
What can be done? Simple. Buckle Up – Even in the Backseat!
- Use a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.
- Require everyone in the car to buckle up, including those in the back seat.
There are hundreds of excuses for not buckling up … seatbelts are uncomfortable, I’m just going around the block, I forgot, it’s not cool, they wrinkle my clothes … we’ve heard them all. But there is one fact you cannot deny: Seatbelts Save Lives!
So what’s more important, a shirt without wrinkles or your life?
Parents, you can make a difference
The results of the studies by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company show that teens who view their parents as involved (set rules and monitor) are twice as likely to wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger as teens who say their parents are uninvolved. These teens also are nearly twice as likely to believe that buckling up affects safety. You can make a difference by always wearing a seat belt and insisting that everyone else does too. Teens decide what’s “normal” or “expected” by observing the behaviors around them. They’ll be more likely to buckle up if you have established it as routine.
First and foremost, parents need to lead by example. And then:
- Establish seat belt use as a rule for using the car. Your teen driver and all passengers must buckle up every time or car privileges will be suspended. Be sure to remind your teen of this rule whenever he takes the keys and heads out the door.
- Never turn the key until everyone is buckled up – and that means in the backseat too. Remember, your child learns how to be safe by watching you while still in a car seat. Insist that your teen do the same when in the driver’s seat.
- Explain it’s about safety, not control. Insisting on seat belts is a rule in place for your teen’s safety not for control. It’s a rule you follow yourself and one you demand because of how much you care.
- Tell them the straight facts. A lot of teens think seat belts are only necessary on highways or on long trips. Let them know most crashes happen in the neighborhood and that people can get really hurt at local driving speeds.
- It’s not just about them. Explain that most adolescent passengers that died in crashes were not wearing seat belts. In a crash, an unrestrained body can also hurt others in the car.
Seat belts save lives! Make a promise to yourself, and to those you love, to always wear your seatbelt. That’s another Summer Promise!
Next Week: Keep Calm and It Can Wait
Do It In The Backseat
When Jake Reis, a student at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, Florida, heard a friend of his was ejected from the back seat of a car and nearly killed, he knew he had to do something. Jake started a petition to change Florida’s seatbelt law by making sure everyone buckles up in the back seat of a car. To promote his campaign, Reis created a PSA video featuring real people in the backseat.