Wearing a seat belt is one of the safest things drivers can do
Wearing a seat belt is one of the safest and smartest things you can do while driving.
When worn correctly, seat belts reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent and the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, according to Drive Smart Virginia, of which Virginia Farm Bureau is a founding member.
Death rates are more than eight times higher when a passenger is not buckled or restrained. In 60 percent of fatal crashes the victim isn’t buckled, according to Drive Smart Virginia.
All of those numbers add up to safety; you are safer in your car when buckled in, and so are your passengers. A seat belt is the best defense against reckless, impaired or distracted drivers.
Also, adults who don’t buckle up are sending children the message that it is acceptable to not wear a seat belt. Children model adult behavior, so 70 percent of the time a driver is unbuckled, it’s a safe bet that children riding in that vehicle aren’t buckled either.
In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Wearing a safety belt also is the law in Virginia. State law requires that passengers 18 years or older occupying the front seat be buckled. Non-adherence is punishable by a $25 fine.