â€“â€‚Car accidents are the leading cause of death for ages 5 through 34 in the U.S.
â€“â€‚More than 2.3 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency rooms as the result of being injured in car accidents in 2009.
â€“â€‚If youâ€™re in the front seat during a crash, wearing a seat belt can improve your chance of survival by 50 percent.
Q. What if Iâ€™m just driving a short distance?
A. Statistically, this is actually the most critical time to wear a seat belt. About 80 percent of traffic-related deaths occur within 25 miles of the home when driving under 40 mph.
Q. Iâ€™m a really good driver. Do I need to wear a seat belt?
A. Yes. Although your good driving record may help you avoid accidents, a bad driver can still hit you.
Q. I have a newer vehicle with airbags. Do I still need to wear a seat belt?
A. Yes. Although an air bag increases the effectiveness of a seat belt by 40 percent, air bags were never meant to replace seat belts. Sometimes air bags donâ€™t work. And, air bags donâ€™t normally protect against side impacts.
Q. But what if the seat belt traps me in the car?
A. Only a very small percent of accidents involve fire or water. But even in those circumstances, you can get out of a vehicle a lot faster with a seat belt on than if you were knocked unconscious inside your car due to not wearing a seat belt.Â
Behind the numbers
40,000+ people die in car accidents every year
9,500 lives are estimated to be saved each year by seat belts
75% of people who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash will die as a result
20-50% of deaths in car accidents could have been prevented if a seatbelt was worn