As Thanksgiving weekend approaches in the U.S., millions will hit the roads to spend time with family and friends. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding everyone that seat belts save lives through the campaign Buckle Up — Every Trip. Every Time.
- In 2016, there were 23,714 passenger vehicle occupants (in passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, or SUVs) killed in traffic crashes in the United States. Almost half (48%) of those who were killed were not wearing their seat belts.
- NHTSA estimates that seat belts saved the lives of 14,668 passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older in 2016. If everyone had worn their seat belts on every trip that year, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved.
- When you wear your seat belt as a front-seat occupant of a passenger car, your risk of fatal injury goes down by 45%. For light-truck occupants, that risk is reduced by 60%.
- Males are more likely than females to be unrestrained in fatal crashes. Fifty-two percent of the male passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2016 were unrestrained, compared with 40 percent of females.
- If you’re ejected from a vehicle in a crash, odds are that you will not survive. In 2016, eight out of 10 (81%) of the people totally ejected from vehicles in crashes were killed. Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection; only 1 percent of occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes, compared to 29% of those who were unrestrained.