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Buckle Up- It’s the Law

Many people invent reasons not to wear their seat belt.  Some just don’t bother and others think – “nothing will happen to me.” The statistics show that this statement is definitely untrue. From 1992 through 2001, roadway crashes were the leading cause of occupational fatalities in the U.S., accounting for 13,337 civilian worker deaths (22% of all injury-related deaths), an average of 4 deaths each day.  Between 1997 and 2002, 28% of fatally injured workers were wearing a seat belt; 56% were unbelted or had no seat belt available. Belt use was unknown for the remaining 16%.

Seat belts are effective in preventing fatalities, 50% more effective in preventing moderate to critical injuries, and 10% more effective in preventing minor injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Administration.  What is most surprising is that by 1992 over 40 states had enacted seat belt use laws and still only 55% of the people traveling in cars were wearing them.

In addition to seat belts we are even more fortunate in that cars are now equipped with supplemental restraint systems (SRS), more commonly known as air bags.  What is not commonly known is that the air bag will only fully protect the passenger if they are wearing their seat belt.  This is another good reason to buckle up.  Insist all passengers in your car do the same and make every trip a safe one.

Occupational fatality data
*Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), 1992-2001 (special research file prepared for NIOSH by the Bureau of Labor Statistics; excludes New York City).

†Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), 1997-2002; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) (public-use microdata files).