Safe Communities

It's life or death; buckle up for the ones you love

(Casper,Wyo.) - Seat belts save lives. They reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and light-truck occupants by 60 percent.

Of the 35,092 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2015, 48 percent were not wearing seat belts.

In 2015 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 lives -- and could have saved an additional 2,814 if they had been wearing their seat belts.

In total, seat belts saved 344,448 lives since 1975, when NHTSA first began recording this data. If everyone had been wearing a seat belt since, an additional 381,787 lives could have been saved.

During a vehicle crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Proper Seat Belt Use Is Vital

Seat belts save lives, which is why it's important that we buckle up -- every ride, front seat and back. Wearing a seat belts properly is also essential.

Follow these guidelines when you buckle up:

  • The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are more able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
  • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
  • NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.
  • Find out when your child is ready to use an adult seat belt and learn about seat belt safety when you're pregnant.