“Because it’s the law” is not why TIERS and other EMS providers urge you to make sure that everyone is your car is properly secured in seatbelts, car seats and booster seats. We aren’t the police. We’ve seen what happens to people with no seat belts:
And forget those dramatic slow-motion scenes on TV. What you see above happened in less than a second. No one is fast enough to grab on to something. And no one is strong enough to hang on.
Flying unbelted rear passengers increase the risk of belted front seat occupants’ death by nearly five times in crashes!
A child in a car going just 30 mph hits as hard as if they’d fallen off a 3-story building. You wouldn’t let your child fall out of a 3-story window!
THE single most at-risk group are children from 4 to 8 years old who should use seat and shoulder belts with a booster seat. They should be used until the child is 4′ 9″ (57 inches), tall. Booster seats position the child so that the belts work as they’re designed and reduce kids’ crash injuries and death by 59 percent. Parents are pretty strict about putting infants and toddlers into car seats, BUT:
LESS THAN 20 PERCENT OF KIDS WHO SHOULD BE IN BOOSTER SEATS ARE IN BOOSTER SEATS.
The second most at-risk group. 18-34 year old drivers are 10% less likely to use seat belts than adults 35+. Males are 10% less likely to buckle up than women, and the percentages drop even more for rural drivers.
For lots of reasons, younger people take more risks; experts (and parents!), know that talking about “danger” doesn’t always work, so they often resort to enforcement of rules. There are only 19 states left where police can’t ticket a driver simply because someone in the vehicle isn’t wearing a seat belt. According to the Centers For Disease Control, “In 2009, about 12,000 more injuries would have been prevented and about 450 more lives saved if all states had primary enforcement seat belt laws”.
We’d rather ask, beg, nag and plead with everyone that we know to remember to PUT ON YOUR SEAT BELT FOR EVERY TRIP, no matter how short. It’s easier to make it a habit by doing it every single time. AND MAKE SURE EVERYONE ELSE DOES, TOO!
A person in a car crash at 60 mph hits as hard as if they’d fallen off a 12-story building.