November 14, 2023 is the fifth annual National Seat Belt Day. The event was originated by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), popular rideshare service Uber, and Volvo to commemorate the invention of the three-point seat-belt and promote its use. The Swedish carmaker created the three-point seat-belt system in 1959 and it has since become the global standard.
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys applauds these companies for promoting the use of seat belts. While they’re easy to take for granted, seat belts can make a huge difference between minor injuries and catastrophic injuries in the event of a car accident. To help you and your family understand the tremendous importance of seat belt use, our team has prepared this National Seat Belt Day blog.
A Brief History of Seat Belt Use in America
Seat belts have been common in America for decades, though widespread use is a more recent occurrence. Seat belt laws vary from state to state, so be sure to be familiar with your state’s laws, as well as the laws of any state you’re visiting. The good news is that primary seat belt use has been increasing; according to the GHSA, the national usage rate was 58% in 1994 and rose to 91% in 2019.
Here are some quick facts about the history of seat belts in America:
- In 1968, car manufacturers were required to have seat belts in new cars
- New York was the first state to require primary seat belt use in 1984
- 35 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have primary seat belt laws
- 15 states have secondary laws for adult front seat occupants
- Not wearing a seat belt is a primary or secondary offense in 49 American states
- New Hampshire is the only state where adults (18 and over) do not have to wear seat belts
Our team hopes that everyone wears a seat belt, whether they’re a driver or a passenger and whether they’re sitting in the front seat or back. While the vast majority of people understand the importance of seat belt use, there are some that believe dangerous seat belt myths. The bottom line is that seat belts are undeniably helpful for increasing the safety of drivers and passengers.
What Can I Do for National Seat Belt Day?
National Seat Belt Day is a fantastic time to review your practices and make sure that everyone in your household understands why seat belt use is essential. There are many simple things that you can do to raise awareness of seat belt safety. They include:
- Always buckling your seat belt before driving
- Making sure that the person in your passenger seat is buckled up
- Insisting that passengers in your rear seat buckle up, regardless of state laws
- Refusing to drive unless your passengers are buckled up
- Understanding your state’s child seat belt laws
- Knowing your state’s laws for child safety seats and booster seats
Remind your friends and family that seat belts save lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “In 2021, 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants were killed. About 50% of those killed were not buckled (based on known seat belt use.) In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts.”
The simple act of using a seat belt can make the difference between life and death.
Contact Lerner and Rowe
Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys hopes that you take some time on National Seat Belt Day to stress the importance of seat belt use to your relatives and friends. Seat belts can make an enormous difference in the event of a car accident. Unfortunately, some injuries occur no matter how safe you and your passengers are being. Be sure to contact us for immediate assistance in the event of a car or truck accident.
Our team is standing by 24/7 to assist you. You can reach us by phone at 844-977-1900 and through the Internet via encrypted online form and LiveChat. Consultations are free, we do not charge any fees unless your case is won, and we have a proven track record of winning our clients the highest compensation possible. Don’t hesitate to contact us for help. Call Lerner and Rowe today.