Somebody needs to get belted.

Summer is coming! And for many of us that means vacations and road trips, and that means more time behind the windshield. Which brings us to this week's topic: Seat Belt usage. 

When you get into your car, truck or van, do you use your seat belt? If not, why not? Between the statistics proving the benefits of wearing your seat belt, to the laws requiring use within the U.S., there are plenty of reasons to buckle up. 

On-the-job, be aware that all Wachs project sites require seat belt use 100% of the time. But it pays to be belted off-hours as well. Every state, with the exception of New Hampshire, requires seat belt usage, and fines can be as high $150.00. Also worthy of note, according to the IIHS (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety), as of August 2016, sixteen states allow the "safety belt defense law," meaning insurance can reduce damages collected by someone injured in a crash if the person had failed to buckle up. The likelihood of increased personal medical bills after a wreck is increased significantly. 

Many people believe seat belts either don’t help or make things worse. The evidence shows otherwise. More than 50% of people who died in car accidents were unrestrained. That may not seem to prove anything, but when you consider that 90% of people wear their seat belt, that statistic becomes startling.

Wearing a seat belt increases your chances of being unhurt and alert if in an accident results in a fire or being submerged under water. Though less than half of 1% of injury-causing crashes result in fire or submersion, your chances of getting out increase as well.

In a rollover crash, you are 12 times more likely to be ejected if you are not wearing a seat belt. People who are ejected in a rollover are five times more likely to die. Add it up and you see why your best chance of surviving a rollover is to wear a seat belt.


Top 5 Reasons to Wear Seat belt

1. One in five drivers is involved in an auto accident each year.

2. Auto accidents are the leading cause of death for those under the age of 45.

3. Close to 40,000 people die each year in auto accidents, half of whom would have been saved by the use of seat belts.

4. For every 1% increase in the use of seat belts, 172 lives are saved.

5. A person is 25 times more likely to die when thrown from a vehicle. 

(statistics from a study at James Mason University)


For answers to FAQ about seat belt usage, check out this week's Wachs Weekly!