Vehicle airbags, power steering, electronic stability control, and anti-lock brakes are just some of the technologies used to improve vehicle safety to preserve life even after impact.
According to a Nationwide Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report, 47 percent of the 22,215 passengers murdered in passenger vehicles in 2019 were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts have saved more lives than all other types of safety equipment combined, with 329,715 lives saved only by seat belts.
Thankfully, widespread education and awareness have improved over time. According to a recent NHTSA poll, national seat belt use was 90.7 percent in 2019. Seat belt use will reach 95 percent in the United States by 2025.
Here are more seat belt safety statistics you need to know:
- Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt because the national use rate may have decreased a bit, but it was still high at 90.3 percent in 2020.
- The NHTSA reports that for every one percent increase in seat belt use, there's a two percent decrease in traffic fatalities.
- Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent for front-seat passengers and 30 percent for rear-seat passengers.
- Every seat belt saved results in reduced medical costs of up to $15,000 in the United States alone.
- Seat belt use increases by 2.4 percent annually.
- Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death by 54 percent for front-seat passengers and 45 percent for rear-seat passengers.
- Severe brain injuries are reduced 37 percent in the event of a frontal collision.
- Children aged 12 and under are three times more likely to die in a car crash if they aren't wearing a seat belt.
- Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury for children under 13 by 60 percent in passenger cars. Seat belts have been able to save the lives of more than 10,000 children annually who are under the age of 13.
- Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 83 percent for drivers weighing over 200 pounds.
- There's an eight percent reduction in injuries for every ten percent increase in seat belt use.
- Seat belt use is higher among rural residents than urban residents.
- Seat belt use is highest among drivers, at 97.4 percent, and lowest among back-seat passengers at 72.4 percent.
- In states with primary seat belt laws, the seat belt use rate is 92.3 percent, compared to 88.4 percent in states with no such laws.
- Seat belts save lives in all kinds of weather. Studies show that wearing seat belts reduces the risk of severe injury or death by 45 percent in snow and rain conditions.
- Seat belts continue to save lives in violent car accidents, even when their initial function has been compromised.
- Seat belts help drivers remain in control of a vehicle. This reduces the chances of rollovers and other accidents.
- In the United States, seat belts will save more lives than all other safety technologies combined in 2022.
- Seventeen states have secondary seat belt enforcement laws, and a national average of 88.4 percent of drivers are using their seat belts as of 2018.
- Drivers and passengers who suffer from seizures are at a higher risk of causing a car accident in some states. Be aware that each state also has its own specific rules, so it's essential to read up on them in your state manual.
Buckling up is one of the best and safest choices we all can make whenever we ride any kind of vehicle. The NHTSA hopes that drivers will become more aware of the importance of seat belt use and make it a habit.
Repair My SRS is a Westfield, MA-based company that specializes in SRS module repair and replacement. We provide our services across the United States through our foolproof mail-in system, which ensures a 24-hour response time. If you have any questions or concerns about your airbags, please get in touch with us as soon as possible!