Seatbelt Basics

Whenever you ride in a car, wear your seatbelt every time. No matter how short the trip is — even if it’s only around the corner — you still need to buckle up. This is so important because if the car you’re riding in gets into an accident, the seatbelt restrains you. (Restrain is a fancy word for holding you back.) Even if the car is moving slowly, you can still get thrown around if you’re not wearing your seatbelt.

Seat belts were first required by federal law, under Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, on January 1st, 1968. This law required all vehicles, except for buses, to be equipped with seat belts in each designated seating position.

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Reason 1

Passengers in a vehicle who are not wearing a seat belt can become projectiles during an accident. Unbuckled passengers can very easily be ejected through the front, rear or side windows, resulting in death.

Reason 2

Passengers in the rear seat of an automobile who use both lap and should safety belts are 44% more likely to survive in crash. The percentage increases to 73% for rear seat passengers in Vans or SUV vehicles.

Reason 3

Texans die every day in vehicle accidents. In 2015, of the 3,518 automobile accidents reported across the state, 2,369 of those accidents resulted in a fatality or serious bodily harm.

Reason 4

Trucks are not immune. In 2015, 467 fatalities were reported of drivers of pickup trucks. Of those reported fatalities, 216 were not wearing a seat belt device.

Reason 5

Wearing a seat belt prevents passenger ejection during a severe accident that involves a rollover. The chances of surviving this type of accident increases 45% when wearing a proper safety restraint device. In pickup trucks, that number increases to 60%.