When one hears the latest statistics on the rate of seat belt usage in the United States, 87% seems like a good national average. While there can be no doubt that 185 million individuals across the nation using seatbelts is a great thing, in a country of more than 300 million people that other 13% represents a large chunk of the community (approximately 28 million citizens to be exact). Every time someone chooses to ride in a vehicle without buckling up they increase their chance of ending up a statistic, and preventing these avoidable fatalities is the primary goal of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign. (NHTSA)
Each year during the month of May, law enforcement agencies across the United States aid the NHTSA in conducting their most well-known high-visibility enforcement program, Click it or Ticket, to persuade motorists to utilize all the safety features built into their automobiles. Below are just a few of the injury statistics collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation related to seat-belt usage (or lack thereof).
In 2012, the research from the agency determined that the use of seat belts saved some more than 12,000 lives, and during the past 5 years it is estimated that they have saved more than 60,000.
Of the roughly 22,000 vehicle occupants killed in car accidents during 2012, 52% were not wearing a seat belt or safety restraint at the time of the collision.
The motorists who are killed in nighttime car accidents are more likely to unrestrained (61%) than drivers during the daytime (43%).
To understand the importance of seat belts in preventing traumatic injuries, it is important to realize that every car accident involves not one, but three collisions. The first is the one we are most familiar with: the car hitting another object. The second involves everyone and everything colliding with the inside of the vehicle as their momentum carries them forward. The third involves our internal organs and other delicate regions colliding with our ribcage and other parts of our body due to a sudden impact, and this is what leads to serious traumatic injuries.
All of us can take action to decrease the number of preventable traffic fatalities each year, and it can be as easy as choosing to wear a seat belt during every trip, and making sure that everyone else in your vehicle is buckled up as well. Our accident lawyers (link to accident page) would like to urge all drivers to do their part, and to set a good example for children and other occupants in their vehicle by using the proper safety devices. Failing to do so could cost you a ticket, if not your life.