We’ve all heard it numerous times at this point, but that doesn’t make it any less true; seat belts really do save lives.
November is the month the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducts it’s annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ seat belt enforcement campaign.
The campaign combines enhanced enforcement of seatbelt laws by local law enforcement, along with an $8 million public service advertising campaign featuring digital ads online and on social media networks, along with print, T.V. and radio advertisements.
The ads are running from the ninth to the 29th, and the enhanced enforcement period runs the 16th through the 29th. The main target of the public awareness campaign are adult males aged 18 to 34, because statistically, that demographic is the most likely to not wear a seat belt.
According to the Deputy Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, James Owens, “Seat belts save lives – but only if they’re worn. Click It or Ticket reminds everyone to wear their seat belt every trip, every time, and officers will be patrolling our roads to enforce these lifesaving laws.”
Click It or Ticket campaigns started in the 80’s at the state level, in response to the majority of people in the U.S. not regularly using seat belts. In fact, around the middle of that decade, only about 15% of U.S. drivers wore their seat belts.
But by the start of the nineties, more and more states had adopted mandatory seatbelt laws, which helped bring that 15% up to 50%. And that resulted in thousands of lives saved each and every year.
According to NHTSA data, it is estimated that in 2017 alone, 14,955 lives were saved because the people involved in those accidents were wearing their seatbelts. In fact, from 2013 to 2017, it is estimated that 70,000 lives have been saved by seat belts.
Of the 22,697 traffic accident fatalities that happened in 2018, almost half of those fatalities were people who were not wearing a seatbelt when they were in the accident that took their lives.
As noted by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, “Seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and the Department’s Click It or Ticket initiative is a critical reminder that drivers should wear a seat belt every time they get behind the wheel.”
So remember to buckle your seat belt. You may just end up saving your own life, and at the very least, you may just avoid an expensive traffic ticket.
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