The first safety restraints were designed more than 200 years ago but seat belts weren't routinely installed in vehicles until the 1970s. Most seat belt laws around the country did not get introduced until the 1980s or 1990s and there are still millions of teenagers every day who choose to get into a vehicle without buckling up. Read on to discover why it's important for you to wear a seat belt every time you drive.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Unfortunately most fatal crashes involving a teenager are the result of at least one person not wearing his or her seat belt at the time of the accident. Numbers suggest that drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 are least likely of all drivers to wear a seat belt. Government studies suggest that wearing a seat belt is the best way to prevent injury while in a motor vehicle. The Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine revealed that seat belt laws have reduced injury rates by 40 percent and also reduced the severity of injuries by 35 percent.
State Laws Make a Difference
Despite research on safety seat belt laws aren't on the books in every state. Some states haven't adopted strict standards which means that teen drivers might think that seat belt safety isn't important because punishment for not wearing a seat belt isn't severe. For example New Hampshire has no seat belt law and South Dakota has only two minor rules related to seat belt use. In states with few or lax seat belt laws motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens aged 16 to 19. If you don't want to be part of that statistic it pays to wear a seat belt and encourage your friends to do the same. It only takes a few seconds to fasten a seat belt and wearing one may save a life. In addition to taking practice tests and receiving parental instruction behind the wheel you should make wearing a seat belt an essential part of learning to drive safely.