Buckle Up: Every Person, Every Seat, Every Time

Seat belts save lives. We have all the data and studies to support that fact.

So why do drivers and passengers continue to ride unrestrained? Some feel they are great drivers or aren’t traveling far enough to crash. Others feel the seat belt is uncomfortable or will cause an injury itself. Still others feel they do not need to be restrained in the back seat.

However, vehicle occupants who buckle up are more likely to survive serious motor vehicle crashes and avoid injuries. In fatal crashes, more than 43% of those killed on Texas roads in 2018 were reported as unrestrained, according to the Texas Department of Transportation.

In addition, about one-fourth of all vehicles on Texas roads are pickup trucks. Pickups have a much higher probability of rolling over in a crash incident than a passenger car. Rollovers increase injuries and, if  occupants are unbelted, can increase the risk of ejection.

With Thanksgiving approaching and an increase of traffic expected on our roadways, occupant protection should be on every employer’s mind and on the traffic safety training schedule, too. Here are a few tips on buckling up to remind your employees. Call them the do’s and don’ts of seat belt safety:

  • Wear your shoulder belt snugly over your shoulder and across the center of your chest
  • Don’t tuck a shoulder belt behind your arm or back or wear it across your neck or face
  • Don’t adjust your seat so far back that the shoulder belt is out of reach and unable to make contact with your body – you could slip out from under it in a crash
  • Do fit your lap belt snugly across your hips and upper thighs
  • Don’t fit your lap belt over your stomach
  • Do model correct passenger restraint for all children and passengers
  • Do remember to have all your passengers use their seat belts correctly

– Lisa Robinson is a senior program manager with the National Safety Council