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More Americans Stay Safe Behind the Wheel with Seatbelt Use Reaching Historic High

The seatbelt still continues to be the most effective life-saving device in modern automobiles, and new research indicates that Americans are now using it at record highs.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that American motorists are buckling up at greater rates than ever before. The Agency reported that as many as 90% of all American motorists now buckle up when they drive. That percentage also includes all front seat passengers.

During 2015, seat belt use helped save as many as 14,000 lives in accidents. Since 1975, NHTSA estimates that more than 345,000 lives have been saved as a result of the use of seatbelts.  However, failure to wear seat belts still kills.  In spite of high seat belt usage rates in 2015, as many as 40% of traffic accident fatalities that year were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.

NHTSA is not resting on its laurels. The Agency has invested millions of dollars over the years in public safety campaigns and other initiatives to promote seatbelt use, and is finally seeing the fruit of its efforts. However, it says that these efforts will continue until it sees 100% seatbelt usage across the country.

Modern vehicle safety developments have been dominated by the emergence of lane departure warning systems, assisted brakes, and other forms of collision avoidance technologies. Many automobiles now come with these newer technologies that claim to help prevent accidents. While the development of these technologies is very encouraging, the fact is that the seatbelt continues to be the most highly proven device to prevent deaths and serious injuries in accidents. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, lap/shoulder belts reduce serious injury risks by 45% in the case of front seat passengers.

Wearing a seatbelt is still the most sensible and easiest thing that you can do to help reduce the risk of injuries in an accident. It is the cheapest auto safety technology we have, and still saves more lives than other types of features.  The entire team at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC ask you to please buckle up this holiday season and encourage your family members to do the same.