From Aug. 19 through Sept. 1, Seaside Police Department will conduct a high-visibility enforcement period regarding the proper use of a seat belt. They will also educate the public on the importance of child car safety.
In 2017, there were 10,076 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, officers need to step up enforcement and crack down on those who don’t wear their seat belts.
Seat belt use is required by law for a reason: In 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives of occupants 5 and older. From 2013 to 2017, seat belts saved nearly 69,000 lives. If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved in 2017 alone.
The national seat belt use rate in 2017 was 89.7 percent, which is good-but we can do better. The other 10.3 percent still need to be reminded that seat belts save lives.
Among young adults 18 to 34 killed in crashes in 2017, more than half (57%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2017, 65 percent of the 23,551 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed were men. It comes as no surprise that men wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do — 51% of men killed in crashes were unrestrained, compared to 39 percent of women.
High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2017, 55 percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. were not wearing their seat belts.
Also, every 32 seconds in 2017, one child under the age of 13 in a passenger vehicle was involved in a crash. Many times, injuries and deaths can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.
Go to the Seaside Police Department, or go to nhtsa.gov/campaign/right-seat, for more information regarding the proper selection and use of a child safety seat.