At the start of the 21st century, only about 80 percent of Americans used seatbelts. Today, about 90 percent of Americans use seatbelts. That is a significant improvement. However, there are still millions of Americans who do not use seatbelts.
To increase road safety, people need to wear seatbelts. That is because these devices prevent needless deaths. Here are some statistics on how seatbelts save lives.
Wearing a seatbelt cuts an individual’s risk of dying in a crash by 50 percent. That is a significant benefit for taking a few seconds to put a seatbelt on. In 2016, seatbelts saved almost 15,000 people’s lives. However, 2,500 people died because they were not wearing one. That shows how belts increase the odds of surviving a car crash.
Likewise, if an individual is not wearing a seatbelt, their other safety features, such as airbags, will not work correctly. Airbags can kill people if they deploy and drivers are not wearing their seatbelts. Seatbelts, airbags and programs like Operation Crash Reduction all work together to protect people.
Older children and seatbelts
Older children do not want to wear seatbelts. In 2016, over 200 children between 8 and 12 died in crashes. Almost half of them were not wearing seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt significantly increases a child’s chances of survival in a collision.
However, children this age test their limits. It is part of their learning process. That is why cars should not move until everyone has a seatbelt. That makes it second nature for them.
While there have been victories in getting people to wear seatbelts, there is still much room for improvement. However, if everyone buckles up on every trip, they can increase their road safety even more.