Seat Belts Save Lives
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Seat Belt Safety and Statistsics

63% of people killed in car accidents are not wearing seat belts.


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Seat Belts are the best protection in a car accident.

Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. 63% of people killed in accidents are not wearing seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on America's roadways.

Data suggests that education alone is not doing the job with young people, especially males ages 16 to 25 ­ the age group least likely to buckle up. They simply do not believe they will be injured or killed. Yet they are the nation's highest-risk drivers, with more drunk driving, more speeding, and more crashes. Neither education nor fear of injury or death is strong enough to motivate this tough-to-reach group.

Rather, it takes stronger seat belt laws and high visibility enforcement campaigns to get them to buckle up.

Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. Yet only 68 percent of the motor vehicle occupants are buckled. In 1996, more than 60 percent of the occupants killed in fatal crashes were unrestrained.

If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually.

The cost of unbuckled drivers and passengers goes beyond those killed and the loss to their families. We all pay for those who don't buckle up ­ in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs.

On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are 50 percent higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.

By reaching the goal of 90 percent seat belt use, and 25 percent reduction in child fatalities, we will save $8.8 billion annually. See information on air bags



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