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Safety Belts and Child Safety Seats  



Read about: Laws Affecting Booster Seats

                   Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations

Tips for Avoiding Injury in a Crash

Woman in vehicle with safety beltTraffic crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people of every age from two through 33 years old. Increasing safety belt and child safety seat use has tremendous potential for saving lives, preventing injuries, and reducing the economic costs associated with crashes.

According to the reports, Lives Saved in 2009 by Restraint Use and Minimum Drinking Age Laws, the use of seat belts in 2009 saved an estimated 12,713 lives.  The report also estimates that 309 toddlers were saved (aged 4 and under) because of child restraints. 

Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in traffic crashes are not wearing their safety belts. Safety belts are considered one of the most important safety devices in your vehicle, and using them correctly and on every trip is the most effective way to reduce injuries and death in a crash.

Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates automobile occupants are 45 percent more likely to survive a crash if they are wearing their lap and shoulder belts correctly; pickup truck and light truck passengers are 60 percent more likely to survive a crash when buckled up correctly.

Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce death by 71 percent for infants (under 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1-4 years old) in passenger cars. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent respectively.

Below is a chart that outlines usage rates.

 
OVERALL SAFETY BELT USAGE
(Drivers & Front Seat Outboard Passengers)
CHILD SAFETY SEATS
TEENS
(Drivers & Front Seat Outboard Passengers)
COMMERCIAL  MOTOR VEHICLE DRIVERS
YEAR
MO
National
MO
MO
MO
  2013              N/A        86%           N/A              67%              N/A
  2012              79%        86%           N/A              66%              82%
  2011
79%
84%
          N/A
67%
             N/A
2010
76%
85%
N/A
66%
81%
2009
77%
84%
91%
61%
N/A
2008
76%
83%
90%
62%
73%
  2007
77%
82%
88%
61%
68%
2006
75%
81%
83%
58%
66%

2005

77%

82%

82%

56%

66%

2004

76%

80%

77%

54%

59%

2003

73%

79%

73%

N/A

N/A

2002

69%

75%

70%

N/A

N/A

2001

68%

73%

64%

N/A

N/A

2000

68%

71%

N/A

N/A

N/A

National usage rates are not available for child safety seat usage, teen safety belt usage, and commercial vehicle driver usage. Missouri has determined it is important to collect these usage rates in order to establish the best strategies to address these problem areas.

More information on safety belts and child safety seats

Unbelted Occupant Fatalities 2009-2011

• Unbelted Teen Occupant Fatalities 2009-2011
• CPS Law Enforcement Info Cards (771 kb, 2 pages)

• Things You Should Know About Restraints

• Life or Death Flyer (1.70 mb, 1 page)

• Sit Tight, Tips for Avoiding Injury in a Crash brochure (226 kb, 2 pages)

• 7 Out of 10 Kids brochure – Best Practice Guidelines (394 kb, 2 pages)

The documents are provided in Acrobat Reader format. Free Acrobat Reader download PDF Icon

Young Drivers  ~  Impaired Driving  ~  Traffic Safety Grants 

About Highway Safety  ~  Older Drivers  ~

 

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