Seat Belts

Tips for Avoiding Injury in a Crash

Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people of every age from two through 33 years old. Increasing safety belt and child safety seat use has tremendous potential for saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing the economic costs associated with crashes.

According to the reports, Lives Saved in 2009 by Restraint Use and Minimum Drinking Age Laws, the use of seat belts in 2009 saved an estimated 12,713 lives.  The report also estimates that 309 toddlers were saved (aged 4 and under) because of child restraints. 

Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in traffic crashes are not wearing their safety belts. Safety belts are considered one of the most important safety devices in your vehicle, and using them correctly and on every trip is the most effective way to reduce injuries and death in a crash.

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates automobile occupants are 45 percent more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing their lap and shoulder belts correctly; pickup truck and light truck passengers are 60 percent more likely to survive a crash when buckled up correctly.

Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce death by 71 percent for infants (under 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1-4 years old) in passenger cars. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.