Oldest vehicle safety technology is still one of the best

This content is sponsored by District Department of Transportation

While there have been significant advances in technology in recent years in automotives – including advances in brakes, forward collision technology and back up cameras – wearing a seat belt is still the best way to stay safe while in a car. When used correctly, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and cuts the risk of critical injury by 50 percent.

The National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization started May 22. Officers in DC will be cracking down on drivers and passengers who are not wearing seat belts. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on education and enforcement of seat belts laws. It’s a $50 fine and 2 points for not having your seat belt buckled at all times, for drivers and passengers in front and back seats. Buckling up is the most important safety measure you can take to protect yourself and your family in a crash. Seat belts are also the best defense against impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers.

According to AAA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children and adults aged 1 to 54 years in the United States. A total of 21,022 drivers and passengers died in 2014 the result of motor vehicle crashes and more than 2.3 million people were injured and treated in emergency rooms. Over half of teens and adults who died in crashes in 2014 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. It is a fact that wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent deaths and injuries in car crashes, reducing injuries and deaths by approximately 50 percent.

A child weighing 30 pounds can be ejected in a crash when the vehicle is going just 30 miles per hour. If all passengers 5 years and older had worn seat belts, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved in 2014, according to NHTSA.

Babies and children must be properly restrained in a car based on their age, height and weight. With small children in a seat belt instead of a car seat or booster seat, the lap band of an adult seat belt can press into their stomachs and sever their internal organs and spine.

Teens and young adults also have to be reminded of the importance of always buckling up as well. Data shows among passengers aged 18 to 34 who have been killed in crashes, 63 percent weren’t buckled up at the time of the crash. And, teens aged 13 to 15 have a 67 percent risk of dying in crashes when they aren’t wearing seat belts.

Think about these statistics the next time you get in a car and share these facts with your teen drivers. It could be a matter of life and death. #clickitorticket


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