The National Safety Council calls the summer months, “100 deadliest days for teen drivers” because car accidents kill more teenagers in the U.S. than any other cause and the rate of deadly crashes increases during summer months.
With Bellevue and Seattle schools now out for summer, let’s take a chance to review the most effective ways to protect our teens as they drive more during the summer.
We have talked a lot about distracted driving and texting and driving but the number one reason teens die in auto accidents is that they were not wearing a seatbelt. Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in a motor vehicle accident yet more than 50% of all teenagers who were killed in car accidents in 2012 were not wearing a seat belt. Teenage drivers, especially teenage boys, are some of the biggest offenders in not wearing a seat belt.
Importance of Seat Belts
Seat belts save lives. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 15,000 people are saved every year when they are involved in auto accidents because they were wearing a seat belt.
Not only do seat belts save lives but they protect against serious injuries including traumatic brain and spinal cord injury. Seat belts prevent injury and death in the following ways:
- Prevents the occupants from a car from being thrown from the car. When a person is thrown from the car, they can suffer catastrophic injuries. People who are ejected from a car or truck are nearly four times likely to be killed.
- Restrains a person at the hips and shoulders which are the body’s strongest parts.
- Spreads collision forces across the body which lessens injury.
- Protects the spinal column and the brain.
- Slows the body down when the vehicle abruptly stops.
Suggestions for teens
A positive approach is a great way to talk to your teenage driver about the benefits of wearing a seatbelt. Remind teens that:
- Washington law requires seatbelt use by everyone person in their car.
- Wearing a seatbelt makes them a role model for other people, especially young children, riding in their vehicle.
- Require passengers to wear a seatbelt because you care about them.
- Ask friends to wear a seatbelt to avoid a $124 ticket.
Seat a good example for your teen by wearing a seatbelt each and every time that you drive.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.