247drive proudly partners with Drive Smart Virginia in the Virginia Coalition for Safe Driving. This is our second entry to spread the message of continued seatbelt usage. Buckle up every time you drive, and when passengers are in the car with you, make sure they are also properly wearing their seatbelts (or are secured in child safety restraint devices). The message below can be found on Drive Smart Virginia’s website, http://www.drivesmartva.org/current-projects/buckle-up-live-on/, and it is a reminder that we all must wear our seatbelts to save lives.
With the upcoming Click It Or Ticket campaign in May, Drive Smart Virginia wants to remind you of the grim reality of not wearing a seatbelt. In fact, overall seatbelt usage across the United States is at an applaudable rate of over 91%. Virginia, on the other hand, still has a way to go to reach that mark—currently, Virginians statewide are clocking in at an 80% seatbelt usage rate. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey the following statistics came to light:
- Among passenger vehicle occupant fatalities where seatbelt use could be determined, the age groups of 21-to-24 and 25-to-34 had the highest percentage of unrestrained occupants (59%), followed closely by the 13-to-15 and 34-to-44 age groups (57%).
- Nationally in 2015, when restraint use was known, 52 percent of male fatalities and 40 percent of female fatalities were unrestrained.
- NHTSA has estimated that, when used, lap/shoulder seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent.
- Lap/shoulder belts should always be used, even in vehicles with air bags.
Again, using a seatbelt properly is your best defense against a reckless, impaired, or distracted driver. Remember, you are 8 times more likely to die when you are not wearing your seatbelt versus when you are properly restrained. Quite simply, you are safer in your car when you are buckled.
So, practice good traffic safety. Always wear your seatbelt. It could save your life, and it will certainly save you from getting a ticket.
Happy driving! Drive Safely!