Safety Belts

Most everyone will be in at least one car crash in their lifetime. While a safety belt may not prevent an accident, wearing one during a crash can significantly increase your chances of surviving.

87% of Missouri college students ALWAYS wear a safety belt

When a vehicle is involved in a crash, passengers are still traveling at the vehicle’s original speed at the moment of impact. When the vehicle comes to a complete stop, drivers and passengers not wearing safety belts can slam into the steering wheel, windshield, other passengers in the vehicle, or other parts of the car’s interior. Safety belts definitely save lives –approximately 15,000 each year.

What is the correct way to wear a safety belt?
  1. The lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt should lay low and snug across the person’s pelvis/lap - it should never lie across the stomach. The shoulder belt should cross the chest and should never be placed behind the person’s back.

Know The Facts

  1. Drivers are less likely to use safety belts when they have been drinking.
  2. Safety belts should always be worn, even when riding in vehicles equipped with airbags. Airbags are designed to work with safety belts, not alone.
  3. Crashes are the leading cause of death for young people; the younger the driver, the more likely the crash.
  4. Safety belts DOUBLE your chances of walking away from a crash alive and without a serious injury.
  5. Before you drive, wait until all your friends are buckled up.
  6. Almost anywhere you drive, it is illegal not to wear your safety belt.

Myths and Misconceptions About Safety Belts

I don't need a safety belt when driving at slow speeds or short trips.
  1. All driving can be dangerous. Fatalities have been recorded as slow as 12 miles per hour on non-belted occupants. Most crashes occur at speeds less than 40 miles per hour. As for the length of your trip making a difference – 75% of traffic accidents occur within 2.5 miles of your home.
Safety belts are uncomfortable and too confining.
  1. Safety belts are designed to allow movement around the vehicle, and they provide plenty of freedom without compromising safety. They are designed to activate immediately should a car come to a sudden halt. After regular use, safety belts are very comfortable.
  1. If I wear a safety belt, I might get trapped in a burning car or caught in one underwater.
    Less than 1 out of 200 traffic-related incidents involve fire or water submersion. Even so, you're much more likely to be knocked out and rendered unconscious if you are not wearing a safety belt. Your chances of escape are better while wearing a safety belt.
  1. I might be saved if I am thrown clear of a car in a collision.
    You are 25 times more likely to be killed in a crash when thrown from a vehicle. The force of an impact can throw you 150 feet – that’s 15 car lengths! Safety belts also prevent you from smashing your head into the windshield, which could cause serious spinal damage.
  1. When I see a collision happening, I will brace myself.
    Crashes happen in the blink of an eye. It is impossible to prepare for crashes, and the forces generated are enormous.
  1. I don't want to offend my passengers by telling them to buckle up.
    Most people willingly put on safety belts if someone only reminds them.

Support for this campaign provided with federal highway safety grant funds from the Missouri Department of Transportation
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