The best way to reduce crash injuries is by wearing a seat belt. Seat belts are an essential safety feature in every vehicle, designed to protect drivers and passengers from serious or fatal injuries in the event of a crash.
As part of the ongoing efforts to promote seat belt usage and raise awareness of their life-saving potential, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has launched several initiatives and campaigns to ensure individuals buckle up.
Seat belts have been proven to significantly reduce the risk of serious crash injuries and fatalities. According to the NHTSA’s Chief Counsel Ann Carlson, “putting on your seat belt only takes two seconds, but it can save your life.” Wearing a seat belt is not only a crucial safety measure but also a legal requirement in most states.
How Seat Belts Reduce Crash Injuries
Seat belts work by distributing the force of a collision across the stronger parts of the body, such as the chest, pelvis, and shoulders. They help prevent occupants from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash, which can result in severe crash injuries or fatalities. Seat belts also minimize the risk of occupants colliding with the interior of the vehicle, such as the dashboard or windshield.
Data from the NHTSA shows that seat belt usage has a significant impact on the number of fatalities in vehicle crashes. In 2021, 45% of passenger vehicle occupants who died in a crash were not wearing a seat belt. The numbers are even more concerning for pickup truck drivers and passengers, with 60% and 64% of fatalities involving individuals not wearing seat belts, respectively.
Research indicates that a higher percentage of unrestrained crash injuries and fatalities occur at night compared to during the day. In 2021, 57% of people who died in nighttime crashes were unrestrained, while 43% of daytime fatalities involved individuals not wearing seat belts. This highlights the need for increased seat belt usage, particularly during nighttime driving.
Several factors may contribute to lower seat belt usage at night. These include reduced visibility, increased fatigue, and a higher likelihood of impaired driving due to alcohol or drug consumption. Additionally, drivers may feel a false sense of security during nighttime hours due to the perception of less traffic and fewer law enforcement officers on the roads.
The NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket Campaign: Encouraging Seat Belt Usage
The NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket campaign is an annual initiative aimed at reducing crash injuries and fatalities encouraging drivers and passengers to buckle up. The campaign features a mix of digital, paid social media, radio, and out-of-home media to reach its target audience. In addition, state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide collaborate during a heightened enforcement period to protect drivers and passengers from the risks associated with riding in an unbelted vehicle.
The Click It or Ticket campaign has been successful in increasing seat belt usage and raising awareness about the importance of buckling up. The heightened enforcement period, coupled with the various media efforts, has contributed to a decrease in unrestrained fatalities across the nation.
Seat belts are an essential safety feature that can save lives and reduce crash injuries. With ongoing initiatives and campaigns such as the Click It or Ticket campaign, the National Roadway Safety Strategy, and the Department of Transportation’s Call to Action, authorities, and organizations are working tirelessly to increase seat belt usage and improve overall road safety. As drivers and passengers, it is our responsibility to buckle up on every trip, every time, to protect ourselves and those around us.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm. Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.