Last week, I lost a dear friend to a one-car automobile accident. He wasn’t using his seat belt at the time of the accident.
Wearing your seatbelt as a front-seat passenger can limit your chances of moderate to fatal injury by 50% and of dying by 45%. (NHTSA)
Wearing your seatbelt in a light truck limits your risk of critical injury by 60%. (AAA)
Nationally, most (90.1%) of Americans use seat belts. (CDC)
On average, 47% of people who die in car accidents weren’t wearing their seatbelts. (IIHS)
15,000 lives are saved every year by wearing a seat belt. (NHTSA)
How many people die from not wearing seat belts?
Unfortunately, the most recent accident fatality data is from 2017. In that year alone, of the 37,133 who died in car accidents, 17,452 people were not wearing a seatbelt. With a mortality rate of 47% for those who choose not to, wearing a seatbelt is absolutely critical to driver and passenger safety. Many view this safety feature as optional — not all fifty states require the practice as law — but the statistics below are key indicators of just how important it is to wear your seatbelt every time you get in the car.
Compiled from national reports and statistics, such as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the National Safety Council, and The Zebra’s own internal data, these statistics are a comprehensive look at what seat belt safety looks like and why we should all buckle up.
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