Seatbelt Safety 101: Buckle Up, It’s the Law!

This year, November 14th marks National Seatbelt Day. Even though wearing a seatbelt is a no-brainer (since it takes literal seconds to buckle up), we’d like to remind drivers and passengers of the importance of buckling up, plus the legal consequences that come with not wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelts Are Your First Line of Defense

Believe it or not, airbags are not the first line of defense in an accident… your seatbelt is! In fact, since the “Click It or Ticket” initiative began more than 20 years ago, seat belt use has gone up 30% in Indiana to 92.9%, which is slightly higher than the national average of 90.3%.

While many people think that airbags will save them during a collision, it’s important to note that the force of an airbag can seriously harm passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts. Airbags are designed to work in tandem with seat belts to slow down the vehicle’s occupants in the event of a collision.

Get Familiar with Your Seatbelt

Did you know that it wasn’t until 1985 when the Indiana General Assembly enacted legislation requiring front-seat occupants in passenger motor vehicles traveling on Hoosier roadways to use safety belts? Since this law went into effect in 1987, it has saved thousands of lives. 

In today’s day and age, three-point seat belts (also referred to as lap and shoulder) are the most common type of seat belt, because they are the safest! This is because the three-point seat belt disperses the energy of a moving body to the chest, pelvis, and shoulders, which reduces whiplash and abdominal injuries.

3-point seat belt

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that using lap and shoulder seat belts reduces the risk of:

  • Front seat passenger car occupant deaths by 45%
  • Front-seat passenger car occupants having moderate to critical injuries by 50%
  • Front seat light truck occupant deaths by 60%
  • Front seat light truck occupants having moderate to critical injuries by 65%

Keep Your Passengers In Check

Have you ever heard of the phrase “monkey see, monkey do?” Well, this applies to humans, too! Humans have a tendency to follow by example and even mirror the body language of those around them. That’s why it’s important to set a good example for others around you and be the first one to buckle up. Especially as a driver, it is encouraged to take accountability for your vehicle and wait an extra minute to check that everyone is buckled up before you put it in drive. In fact, Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up. In the event of being pulled over, if a passenger is not buckled in, a ticket will be issued to that passenger and the driver. 

Whether you’re riding in or operating a vehicle, your first priority should be safety. Wearing your seatbelt to avoid injury is a much better option as opposed to taking weeks or months off to heal your injuries, and medical bills can be a hefty expense to pay!

Learn the Rules of the Road with Driver Ed Safety

At CIESC Driver Ed Safety, we offer the tools to help you successfully learn how to drive. Are you interested in signing up with us? Contact us to learn more about our driver’s education programs.

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