According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belt use in 2016 in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,668 lives.
.New Hampshire is the only state in the country that does not require people eighteen years of age and above to wear seat belts. Because of this New Hampshire usually has the lowest or one of the lowest seat belt usage rates in the country. The flip side of this reality is that New Hampshire typically has the nation’s highest or one of the highest unbelted fatality rates.
New Hampshire’s belt usage rate is measured annually through seat belt observational surveys. The 2018 survey shows a belt usage rate around 73%. The national average rate is 89%. New Hampshire’s unbelted fatality rate has historically fluctuated between sixty and seventy percent every year.
Parents, believe it or not, teens often model your behaviors. If you aren’t seat belt users, your teens are more likely not going to wear them either (at least when you are are not watching).
The important fact for us to know is that seat belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury by about 45% and the risk of moderate to critical injury by about 50%.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), people not wearing seat belts are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash and 3 out of 4 people who are ejected during a crash die from their injuries.
The following video of a real crash filmed by in vehicle cameras shows what often happens to unbelted vehicle occupants during a crash event. If we are not ejected from our vehicle, we while being tossed around, present a real risk to others within our vehicle – usually our friends or loved ones.