Back in 2017, about 15,000 lives were saved through the use of seat belts. Also, about 2,549 lives could have been saved as well if the driver or passengers buckled up before driving. Aside from that, about 47% of all passengers killed on road accidents aren’t wearing seat belts.
With these numbers, it should go without saying that seat belts are indispensable components of your car. Also, you should always use it regardless of where you’re going, even if it’s just a short trip or a long drive.
Use seat belts properly
Always wear seat belts with the least slack. This way, the belt is snugly wrapping the strongest parts of your body. When a collision occurs, you will be spared from injuries and potential death.
Also, if you’re pregnant, always wear the seat belt under the baby bump. Avoid placing any of the two belts on your tummy.
It’s important to remember that seat belts are made for a reason. So regardless if you’re just driving around the neighborhood, you should still buckle up.
Lastly, never consider airbags as substitutes for seat belts. As much as it offers extra protection, it will stop you from being ejected out of the vehicle as well.
Teach your kids to buckle up
Start them young! Teaching your kids the value of using seat belts is a great way to raise them as responsible drivers. Usually, kids aged 8 to 12 will be big enough to wear standard seat belts. But for younger children, you should still tuck them on booster seats.
So how will you know if your child is big enough for standard seat belts? The child’s knee should be at the edge of the seat when his or her back is flat on the cushion. Also, the belt should be snug when placed across the child’s chest.
Technically, various state laws will require a specific height as to when your child can be driven without a booster seat.
Promote awareness to teens
Teenage drivers who have parents with strict rules about driving are twice likely to use seat belts. In contrast, less involved parents will have teenage children who rarely utilize this safety feature. This is a very important fact since teenagers have recorded the lowest rate of seat belt use of all age groups.
Teens often think that wearing seat belts “isn’t cool” or “unflattering”. But with proper education, you can impose the value of following this basic rule of driving.
If your teen child refuses to use seat belts, you can impose disciplinary actions by not letting them drive for a week or grounding them.
Abide by the state laws
Each state will have specific laws about seat belt use. In some states, traffic officers can flag you for failing to wear seat belts. Worse, you’ll get a ticket for a traffic violation. Even if traffic officers can’t flag you for failure to wear seat belts alone, they can still give you a ticket if you’re flagged for other primary violations like tailgating or distracted driving.
Take note that buckling up is a very simple thing to do. It only takes a second or two to save your life.