Okay, okay. By now, you have heard enough about seatbelt use in your car. Seatbelts save lives, enough already!
Despite the benefits of seatbelt use being pummeled into everyone’s brains for years, many people still fail to buckle up before driving. Some are even vehemently opposed to the idea of wearing a seatbelt. Many try to justify that a bad crash would not be survivable regardless of seatbelt use, or that their airbags would save them in the event of a wreck. Others simply don’t like wearing it, or only wear it when driving on highways.
Regardless of their reasoning, they’re wrong. We hate to paint with a broad brush, but there is simply no good excuse that justifies foregoing a seatbelt. Seatbelts have been shown to reduce auto accident deaths and injuries by half, says NHTSA, and most safety measures in cars are designed to work together with seatbelts to achieve maximum results and protection.
This month, seatbelts swing back into focus with NHTSA’s Click It Or Ticket national enforcement campaign beginning on May 19. Test your own seatbelt knowledge with these questions from the CDC:
- Who is more likely to wear a seatbelt—men or women?
- Does where you live affect whether you are apt to wear your seatbelt?
- Do primary seatbelt laws affect drunk driving fatalities?
- When it comes to gender’s role in seatbelt safety, women have been shown to have an edge over their male counterparts. Men are 10% less likely to buckle up in the car, which can add up to serious risk.
- Where you live also plays an important role in your views on seatbelt use. Do city slickers throw caution to the wind and drive without their seatbelts more than anyone else? Surprisingly, no. People who live in rural areas are 10% less likely to wear a seatbelt than their suburban and urban counterparts.
- As for the last question, one wouldn’t assume that seatbelt laws would have much reach beyond crash-related information, but the assumption would be wrong. NHTSA looked at fatally-injured drivers, and saw that of the sober drivers fatally injured, 57% wore seatbelts. Of the fatally injured drivers with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, only 28% were belted. Primary seatbelt laws, like those in Pennsylvania, may not stop people from driving drunk, but they allow officers greater reach in putting a stop to unbelted drivers and vehicle occupants.
Spread the Word to Buckle Up!
This month, join NHTSA in their effort to promote seatbelt use everywhere—get the discussion started on social media today!