10 Facts About Seat Belts and Car Seats

Closeup of a woman using her seat belt. A driver buckling up.

Nobody expects to get into a car accident. But it only takes one negligent driver to cause a crash that can leave drivers and passengers seriously injured or killed. One of the best defenses against negligent drivers is the use of seat belts and car seats for children – both reduce the risk of serious injury and can save lives.

Here are some of the latest facts about seat belts and car seats you may not know.

How many people don’t wear seat belts in the front seat?

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for 2020, 1 in 10 people do not wear seat belts in the front seat. This indicates that most people who sit in the front seat realize buckling up is one of the best ways to avoid severe injury in the event of a crash.

How many fatal accident victims weren’t wearing seat belts?

In 2019, 22,215 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents and 9,466 of them were not wearing seat belts. That means over 40% of the people who died in car accidents that year failed to buckle up.

How many lives are saved by using seat belts each year?

in 2017, the most recent year that data is available, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives. Sadly, experts believe another 2,549 lives could have been saved that same year with seat belt usage.

Who are the people least likely to wear seat belts?

People between the ages of 16 and 24 are the least likely to wear seat belts when sitting in the front. But that changes depending on who else is in the vehicle, as 93% of women wear their seat belts in the front, compared to 88% of men.

What’s the seat belt use rate in North Carolina?

According to NHTSA data, 88% of people in North Carolina wear seat belts. The state with the highest seat belt usage rate is Hawaii at 97%. The lowest is New Hampshire at 71%.

What are the fines for not wearing a seat belt in North Carolina?

People in North Carolina can be fined up to $180 for a seat belt violation. Drivers can be fined as much as $266 if there is a passenger under 16 in the vehicle who is not properly restrained.

When did seat belt use become mandatory in North Carolina?

State law has required people in the front seat of motor vehicles to wear seat belts since 1985. In 2006, the law was amended to include all people in the vehicle.

Can a driver be pulled over for not wearing a seat belt?

In North Carolina, failing to wear a seat belt is considered a primary offense. That means that a driver can be pulled over and issued a citation for not wearing one.

How many children have been saved by the use of car seats?

In 2017, car seats saved the lives of 325 children who were involved in motor vehicle accidents. That year, children were twice as likely to survive a crash if they were properly strapped into a car seat. Under Florida law, children under 5 years old must be properly secured in a child restraint device that has been crash-tested and federally approved. Booster seats are allowed for children ages 4-5, and children ages 6-8 must sit in the back seat and wear a seat belt at all times.

Who is not using car seats for children?

According to NHTSA data, it is mostly the youngest and oldest adults. Eleven percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 and nine percent of drivers older than 70 don’t use car seats for young children. Moreover, many child restraint systems are used incorrectly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "An estimated 46% of car seats and booster seats are misused in a way that could reduce their effectiveness."

Injured in a crash? Our North Carolina car accident lawyers can help.

Seat belts and car seats help reduce severe injuries and fatalities in the event of a crash, but they don't completely prevent them. If you were hurt in a car crash in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn, or anywhere in North Carolina, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses from the at-fault driver's insurance company. The problem is insurance adjusters are paid to pay you as little money as possible, and you can bet that they will do everything in their power to do just that.

That's why it’s important to get trusted legal advice as soon as possible. The experienced car accident lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates fight for the rights of the injured. We understand the impact a crash can have on you and your loved ones, which is why we will fight for every dollar you deserve.

Learn more about how we can help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

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