The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched a new campaign focusing on seat belt use. The campaign specifically targets parents and children aged 8 to 14. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adult seat belt use tops the list of ways to reduce injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. Seat belt use is on the rise across the country, though usage varies by state.
According to the NHTSA, the number one cause of driving fatalities among teens is failure to wear a seat belt. Teen drivers are more likely to get into an accident and more likely to sustain serious or fatal injuries than other drivers. Seat belt use among drivers 16 to 24 years old is the lowest of any age group. While roughly 80 percent of people this age wear seat belts, more than half of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents are unbuckled. By targeting children in the 8 to 14 age group the NHTSA is hoping to improve seat belt use once these children reach driving age.
The new safety campaign is called “Never give up until they buckle up.” It encourages parents to advocate for seat belt use and to use seat belts themselves. According to a study issued by Safe Kids Worldwide, teens who do not use seat belts often report that their parents also do not wear seat belts when they drive. The majority of teens surveyed report that their parents are the most influential people when it comes to driving habits.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “NHTSA launches seat belt campaign for tweens, parents,” by Robert Duffer, 12 March 2015