Good News: Seat Belt Use Reaches New High

How do seat belts save lives?

Seat belt use has reached an all-time high, according to a study recently released by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Approximately 90 percent of Americans now use their seat belts, which is a statistically significant increase from 88.5 percent in 2015.  This positive data was gathered in a large-scale observational study conducted by the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).  

Seat Belts Have Saved Nearly 345,000 Lives Since 1975

Seat belts are the single most important vehicle safety device of the modern era.  Originally invented in the mid-19th century, seat belts did not become standard in vehicles until the late 1960’s.  Even then, seat belt use remained alarmingly low until states begin enacting seat belt laws starting in 1984.  

Seat belts save the lives of drivers and passengers every single day, preventing an estimated 15,000 fatalities each year.  Seat belts reduce the risk of injury or death by about half in the event of an automobile crash.  By holding occupants securely in the car, seat belts help to prevent catastrophic injuries that can occur if passengers are ejected.  

While 90 percent daytime seat belt use is certainly a cause for celebration, there are still improvements to be made.  The NHTSA has vowed that it will not rest until seat belt use reaches 100 percent.  State laws play a key role in encouraging seat belt use. Seat belt use remains higher in states that have primary seat belt laws.  These laws authorize police officers to pull over individuals not wearing their seat belt without the need for evidence of another offense.  

Buckle Up, Every Time

Remember to buckle up each and every time you get into a motor vehicle.  Your seat belt could save your life one day.  If you are injured in a car accident, contact our experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at J&Y.  Our experienced attorneys will fight to see that you obtain the compensation you deserve, which could include property damage, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.