Why are seatbelts so important?

Seat belts save lives. Below are some facts and statistics that illustrate the importance of using your seat belt while in a motor vehicle.

girl in a flower crown wearing a seatbelt

Seat belt statistics

  • In 2019,  22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed, and 47% of them were not wearing seat belts.
  • Seat belts saved approximately 14,955 lives in 2019, and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts, in 2017 alone.
  • Being ejected from the vehicle in a crash is almost always deadly, and a seatbelt can prevent it from happening.
  • Airbags alone are not enough to protect drivers. In fact, the force of an airbag can seriously injure or even kill passengers if they’re not buckled up.
  • It’s not enough to buckle up; if the seat belt is not worn properly, such as placing the strap below your arm, puts you and other passengers at risk in a crash.
  • Drivers that buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car reduce their risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 45%
    • Moderate to critical injury by 50%
  • If drivers of a light truck buckle up, they can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 60%, and moderate to critical injury by 65%.

baby sleeping in a pink car seat

Top 5 tips for seat belt safety

  1. Buckling up is the single most effective thing to prevent injuries in the event of an accident
  2. Airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them – and if they deploy when you’re not wearing a seat belt, the force can seriously injure, or even kill you.
  3. Fit matters: Before buying a car, comfort and a good seat belt fit should be considered. Belt adjusters exist for those who need a better fit.
  4. Pregnant women must wat seat belts, even if it feels uncomfortable. The belt lays across the hops, not the stomach.
  5. Child seats: Have your local fire department or car dealership check to ensure the car seat is fitted correctly.

More information on these statistics can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website. Make safety a habit. The next time you get in a car, remember to buckle up. Should you be involved in an accident, your family and loved ones will be glad you did.