5 ways—and several very good reasons—to remember to buckle up 

Updated On: November 24, 2023

Wearing a seatbelt is the “single most effective thing” you can do to keep from being injured in a motor-vehicle crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

In 2020 nearly 41,000 were killed in traffic accidents in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the instant you buckle up, you reduce your odds of being one of them, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics show. 

Why is it, then, that one in 10 U.S. drivers choose not to wear a seatbelt?  

Why not buckle up? 

A 2014 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found rural Americans less likely to wear a seatbelt and more likely to die in a motor-vehicle crash than urban residents. 

Other factors related to lower rates of seatbelt use are alcohol-impaired driving and speeding, the CDC study found.  

An NHTSA study found that those who never or only occasionally wear a seatbelt say they don’t buckle up because they’re in a hurry; they don’t want to wrinkle their clothes; traffic is light; they resent the government’s telling them what to do; they think airbags are enough to protect them in a crash ; or they know someone who died in an accident despite wearing a seatbelt. Some common reasons for not using a seat belt include:  

  • https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/research/safetysurvey/Chapter2.html“It’s not comfortable” (11 percent of users who use seat belts at least on occasion, and 31 percent of those who never use seat belts); 
  • ”I’m only driving a short distance” (23 percent of users who use seat belts at least on occasion, and 6 percent of those who never use belts ); and 
  • “I forgot” (25 percent of users who use seat belts at least on occasion, and 10 percent of those who never use belts). 

Remember to buckle up 

At William Mattar, P.C. our personal-injury lawyers focus on car-accident cases and have seen the costly toll of not wearing a seatbelt. In a crash, anyone not wearing a seatbelt is more likely ejected from a vehicle, which substantially lowers one’s odds of surviving.  

To help change attitudes toward wearing seatbelts and reduce New York car-accident injuries, a few ways to remind yourself to buckle up may include: 

  1. Listening. Most cars audibly signal the driver and passengers to buckle up when the key is put into the ignition. 
  2. Setting up visual or sensory reminders. This can include equipping the car with an air freshener purchased expressly to remind you with its scent to check all safety measures. Anything that will jog your memory, or create an instinctual response, to buckle up.  
  3. Leaving yourself a note. For example, putting a written reminder on the dashboard . 
  4.  Making a habit of not releasing the emergency brake until your seatbelt and those of others in the car are buckled. 
  5. Making a game of it. Whoever snaps in first wins. This may work well with kids. 

Seatbelts: litmus test as well as lifesaver 

Is wearing a seatbelt worth all this? Absolutely. The instant your seatbelt clicks together is a moment that could save your life.  

Moreover, the seatbelt-wearing habits of other motorists can have implications for your safety. Not everyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt is looking to put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation. Often, we’re just harried or distracted or think it doesn’t matter because we’re only driving a short distance.  

Keep in mind that whenever you’re on the road you’re sharing it with motorists whose mindset and choices may be quite different from yours. The risky choices of other motorists are all around you when you’re on the road. Seatbelt-wearing literally can be a lifesaver. 

Hurt in a Car? Call William Mattar, P.C.

Here’s one more very important fact about seatbelts: A jury that finds out you weren’t wearing a seatbelt when you were injured in a car accident may not compensate you as much. 

If you’re injured in a motor-vehicle accident, you might not know what to do next. But you may be due compensation for the damages you’ve suffered, and every step you take may affect the chances of success of your claim. The experienced attorneys at the William Mattar law offices can help you assess your case and guide you. Just call us at 844-444-4444 or fill out our online form for a free initial consultation.  

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