Teens often fail to wear seat belts
Teenagers are often the most inexperienced drivers on the road and using a seat belt should be a high priority. However, teenagers are the biggest non-users of seatbelts – about 43% of teenagers don’t buckle up every time they drive. The CDC found in 2019 that only a little more than half wear a seat belt when riding in a car as a passenger. Some common excuses teenagers gave for not wearing a seatbelt are:
- I forgot,
- I wasn't even going that far,
- Seat belts are uncomfortable,
- I don’t want to ruin my clothes, and
- I want to sleep.
Seat belt facts
Discussing with your teenager the dangers of not wearing a seat belt will help them understand the importance of always buckling up. Your teenager should know:
- Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens,
- More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts,
- Seat belts reduce the risk of death for front-seat passengers by 45%, and
- Seat belt tickets can cost as little as $10 and can be as high as $200.
Teach your teen to buckle up
Setting a good example about seat belt use is even more important than talking with your teenager. You can be an example by:
- Always wearing your seat belt: Be a role model – yes they are watching,
- Creating the habit: Require everyone to buckle up before starting the car,
- Leaving reminders: Put a sticky note next to the ignition,
- Knowing the law: Discuss your state's seat belt laws and fines,
- Giving them the facts: Share how seat belts have proven to save lives, and
- Making it a Rule: Revoke privileges for seat belt misuse.