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NTHSA: 20% of Teens Do Not Wear Seat Belts

Wrapping up National Teen Driver Safety Week, our Illinois car accident attorneys thought it would be both important and beneficial to discuss teen seat belt safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens are less likely to use seatbelts than adults in cars, and that close to 20% of teens do not use seatbelts. The NHTSA also reported that in 2009, “The majority (56%) of young people 16 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were unbuckled.” Teendriversource.org is a website that discusses teen driver safety generally, and has some interesting statistics about teen seat belt safety use. The website notes that when exposed to education about seat belt use, teens are more likely to use seat belts.

How can you educate your teen? The Center for Disease Control website has tips for parents to encourage seatbelt use. Because seat belts reduce injuries and fatalities from car crashes by over 50%, parents should act as role models and wear a seatbelt always. Parents should also require that all children and teens in their car are buckled safely into their seatbelt or child safety seat and remind passengers frequently to buckle-up.

On a broader level, states can continue enforcing the Buckle-Up law, such as the one in Illinois. BuckleUpIllinois.org states that the Illinois Safety Belt Law requires every driver and front seat passenger to wear seat belts. Small children under the age of 8 years-old must be fastened into the appropriate child safety seat. Our Illinois accident lawyers promote the Illinois Safety Belt Law, along with the Click It or Ticket Mobilization. The Click It or Ticket Mobilization’s goal is to not give out as many tickets as possible, but it is, however, used to increase awareness and motivate people to use seatbelts. The thought process is that if the public believes that they will get a ticket, they will avoid it by simply clicking their seatbelt.

Because teens are amongst the least groups likely to wear seatbelts, our Chicago car accident attorneys encourage parents, teachers and other families members to stress the importance of seat belt use and require it when riding with teens. By simply fastening his or her seat belt, a teen can avoid not only a ticket and fine, but also increase their chance of survival should they be in a severe accident. Through driver’s education programs, parent conversations, and using their parents as role models, we hope the number of teens wearing seatbelts will continue to increase. We encourage our readers to discuss the importance of seat belts so that Illinois teenagers will recognize their importance and make seat belt use a priority.