We all know seat belts save lives when utilized correctly. Yet somehow, the NHTSA reports that of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes in 2014, half of them were not wearing seat belts.
So, why do so many people still fail to buckle up? Despite the risks, possible fines and potential loss of life, it turns out people have a variety of excuses.
The 5 Most Common Excuses for Not Wearing a Seat Belt:
- “I'm afraid of getting stuck in a crashed car.” Without a seat belt, you're more likely to be killed or knocked unconscious and unable to get out of the car at all.
- “I'm too large to wear a seat belt. It doesn't fit.” Seat belt extenders can usually resolve this issue.
- “I forgot.” Most cars have annoying seat belt reminder systems that beep every minute or so when occupants aren’t buckled.
- “I’m only going to down the road.” Eighty percent of traffic fatalities occur within 40 miles of home. Short trips near home are the best times to wear seat belts.
- “It makes me feel restrained.” It should! Your seat belt is what keeps you in your seat so you won't be thrown from the vehicle where you're four times more likely to be killed than if you remain the car.
These excuses can all be debunked or remedied in some way, because there is never a reason to travel without a seat belt. In the last decade, seat belts saved the lives of more than 100,000 people in the United States. And during high-traffic holiday periods, seat belt usage is more important than ever. Whether you’re traveling across town or across the country, it’s essential to always wear a seat belt.
More Seat Belt Statistics from the NHTSA:
- Younger people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes from their failure to wear seat belts. Among the passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2014 crashes, occupants ages 13-15 and 25-34 were unrestrained at a rate of 59 percent.
- Males are more likely than females to be unrestrained in fatal crashes. Fifty-three percent of the male passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2014 crashes were unrestrained, compared with 40 percent for females.
- If you’re ejected from a vehicle in a crash, odds are that you will not survive. In 2014, almost 8 out of 10 (80%) of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed.