Seat Belt Statistics to Keep in Mind
In the state of Texas, wearing your seat belt isn’t a suggestion — it’s against the law to not do so. Failing to make sure everyone in the car wears their seat belts will result in a $200 fine and the amount increases to $250 for children under eight years old (or under 4 ft. 9 in.) that aren’t properly restrained. Still not convinced to buckle up? Here are some seat belt safety statistics you should keep in mind if you’re ever thinking about not wearing your seat belt.
It’s the Most Effective Way to Protect Yourself in an Accident
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to protect yourself in the event of a car accident. They’re also the most cost-effective public safety measure. While rear seat belts aren’t as effective as front seat ones, both are still extremely effective. Front seat belts are 45% effective, and rear seat belts are 25% effective.
Seatbelts Reduce the Risk of Death in Car Crashes
There’s no doubt about it — seat belts save lives. The NHTSA estimated that almost 15,000 lives were saved by seat belts in 2017, and that number is consistent year over year. The risk of death in an accident is 45% lower with rear seat belts and 50% lower with front seat belts. The NTHSA calculates that three out of five people would survive car accidents if they had been wearing their seat belts, nearly half of those killed in accidents weren’t buckled up.
Not Buckling Up Increases the Risk of Passenger Ejection
Being ejected from the vehicle during a crash is incredibly dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), three out of four people die from the injuries they sustained during ejection. The CDC also estimates that if you aren’t wearing your seat belt, you’re 30 times more likely to be ejected from your car in an accident. While the odds of getting in a car crash are low every time you drive, the risk is extremely high if you choose not to buckle up.
Young People Are at the Highest Risk When Unrestrained
Teens and young adults have the lowest seat belt use rates according to the CDC, but they’re also at the highest risk. Passengers between 21 and 34 are the most likely to die if they aren’t wearing their seat belts during a car crash. Other demographics that are at a higher risk during accidents are:
- Women (especially pregnant women)
- Obese or elderly people
- Those driving at night
- Pickup truck occupants (least likely to wear a seat belt)