Seat Belt: How a bad habit could cost you severely

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Seat Belt: How a bad habit could cost you severely

Seat belt use in 2012 saved an estimated 12,174 lives, but people are still choosing to not use their seat belt every time they get in the car. The U.S. Department of Transportation launched its 2014 “Click It or Ticket” campaign in order to remind vehicle drivers to wear their seat belt every time they get in the car. “We know seat belts save lives and while we’re encouraged that national seat belt use is at an all-time high, we won’t stop our efforts until all motorists make the simple yet safe choice to buckle up on every trip,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “If you’re not buckled up, you’ll be ticketed. The ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign delivers that message loud and clear.”

Although all the states except one have seat belt laws, only 32 of those states and the District of Columbia have primary enforcement of their seat belt laws. This means that law enforcement can ticket a non-belt user. Secondary enforcement only allows officers to give a citation after pulling over the vehicle for another traffic violation.  States that have passed a primary enforcement law had a seat belt use rate of 90%, while in states with secondary enforcement laws or with no seat belt laws had a seat belt use rate of 78%.

In one year alone, crash deaths and injuries cost $70 billion in medical and lost work costs. But more importantly, people’s lives are being lost due to not wearing a seat belt. Out of all the occupants killed in traffic crashes in 2011 that restraint was known in, 52% were not wearing seat belts. Over a five year period, seat belts have saved nearly 63,000 lives from 2008 to 2012. Choose to make it a habit to wear your seat belt every time you get in the car, and if you are a driver, insist on your passengers wearing their seat belts as well.

 Source: NHTSA,

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