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The goal is simple: get more drivers and passengers to buckle up every trip, every time, day and night. Always wear your seat belt.
- Seat belts save lives – they are the best defense against crash-related injuries and fatalities.
- Many of us overindulge in holiday goodies and loosen our belts a little after dinner. But remember, there’s nothing that should keep you from tightening your seat belt when you get in a motor vehicle. The potential consequences are just too great.
- In 2008 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 13,250 lives. An additional 4,152 lives could have been saved if seat belts had been worn at the time of the crashes.
- Additionally, research has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of a fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants is reduced by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate to serious injury is reduced by 50 percent.
- Yet, 45 million Americans still fail to buckle up regularly.
- The holidays are no different and in fact are often times some of the most dangerous days of the year, especially for those driving at night.
- The holidays, which for many are the happiest times of the year, can quickly turn into a nightmare when loved ones fail to buckle up.
- During the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday travel season, 1,120 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes nationwide. Of those, more than 50 percent were unrestrained at the time of the crash, based on known restraint use.
(2008 Thanksgiving’s holiday period was from November 17 to December 1.)
- During the 2008 Thanksgiving holiday weekend alone (Wednesday, November 26 to Monday, December 1), 231 passenger vehicle occupants were killed in motor vehicle crashes occurring during nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) hours nationwide. Of those, 67 percent were unrestrained at the time of the crash, based on known restraint use.
For additional information, please visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.
Montana Safety Belt Information
- Observed safety belt usage in Montana was 79.6% (June 2007)
- During 2009, 195 vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle crashes alone.
- The majority of those (77%) were not wearing safety belts.
- Every Montanan pays about $670 a year toward the cost of vehicle crashes. That is $2,680 for a family of four. This includes uncompensated insurance costs and hospital bills. (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- 61% of all spinal cord injuries in Montana resulted from motor vehicle crashes. (source: MT Dept. of Public Health and Human Services, 2005 Data)
- Average hospital charge from someone injured in a vehicle who is buckled at the time of the crash is $20,709 and $48,692 for someone who is not buckled. (Source: 2005 data from two Billings hospitals)
Belt Usage by Vehicle Type
- Safety belt usage is much lower in pickups: about 63%.
- Over 83% of people killed in pick-up crashes were not buckled.
- Pick-ups and SUVs have a higher incidence of rollovers, where the possibility of being ejected increases.