In May 2020, Drive Smart Virginia launched the Love Clicks campaign to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up while on the road. According to an NBC 12 report about the initiative, state Department of Motor Vehicle data indicates that 48% of motor vehicle fatalities in Virginia occur when the person was not wearing a seatbelt.
Review the importance of proper safety restraints while driving or riding in a vehicle to avoid a serious auto accident.
The facts about seatbelt use
Drive Smart Virginia reports that 15% of drivers do not use their seatbelts, a significantly higher percentage than the national average of 11.5%. The rate is even higher among drivers ages 16 to 24, who also have the highest rate of severe and fatal accidents overall.
Why it matters
The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration estimates that correctly using a lap and shoulder belt can reduce the risk for serious auto accident injury by half and the risk for fatal injury by about 45%. The agency says that wearing a seatbelt is one of the safest choices a person can make.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers who do not wear a seatbelt have a 3,000% higher chance of ejection from the car in a collision than drivers who use safety restraints correctly. About 75% of people who experience ejection suffer fatal injuries.
By encouraging residents and visitors to buckle up and stay safe for loved ones, advocates hope to reduce Virginia’s auto accident fatality rate. The CDC says that seatbelt use has saved about 255,000 lives since 1975.