Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and main cause of head and spinal cord injury. Plus, one out of every five drivers is involved in an automobile accident each year. By using safety belts while riding or driving a motor vehicle, the number of serious traffic injuries drops down by 50 percent and drastically reduces the chance of fatalities by 60-70 percent. Safety belts can also save up to $100 million in annual death and injury costs. With these numbers and statistics, is there any other reason why safety seat belts should not be used?
Safety belts are now mandatory in all motor vehicles driven in the US. And in many states, drivers can be penalized via fines if they and/or their passengers are caught not wearing safety belts. After all, seat belts are very easy to use. Just pull the buckle of the safety seat belt toward the latch located on the lower right side of the passenger's seat or the lower left side of the driver's seat. Seat belts are even adjustable to fit most heights and weights of the individual being harnessed. Back seats also come with safety harnesses to provide protection for an automobile's passengers.
Child safety belts are also a vital safety precaution for any child riding in a motor vehicle. Children are required to have the proper restraint harnesses to provide the proper protection. Children less than forty pounds must be harnessed in a state approved child safety seat. Infants under the age of two and under twenty pounds are required to use rear-facing safety seats so that safety belts can properly protect them. Children over forty pounds may use a booster seat accompanied by a safety harness until they are either 4' 9" or are eight years old. It is also recommended that all children under the age of thirteen seat in the back seat so that both safety belts can properly shield them.
According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, sixty five percent of passengers between the ages of thirteen to fifteen and twenty one to thirty four were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2007 because they were not using safety belts. Out of about 27,000 passenger fatalities in 2007, fifty four percent were not using seat belts. Something simple as buckling a safety harness can help save lives and reduce traffic costs due to injuries and/or fatalities.