Jessica Sautter has a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around auto insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Reviewed by Natasha McLachlan
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UPDATED: Oct 1, 2020

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Today, 49 out of 50 states require that seat belts be worn in the vehicle in some manner. Only the state of New Hampshire has no enforcement of seat belt laws. Since the day they first became mandatory in the state of New York in 1984, there has been some controversy about their effectiveness. However, the statistics clearly show that drivers and passengers who do not wear seat belts are more likely to be injured or killed in accidents.

Lives Saved by Seat Belts

The last year that seat belt statistics are available was 2014. During that year, approximately 2.3 million people were treated in emergency rooms due to being involved in auto accidents. In the previous year, the number of non-fatal injuries resulted in an expenditure of more than $45 billion regarding both medical bills and loss of wages due to missing work.

In 2014, a total of 21,022 drivers and passengers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. It was one of the leading causes of death for men and women up to the age of 54. However, according to determinations made from non-fatal accidents during that year, it was estimated that 12,802 lives were saved thanks to seat belts. Also, another 2,396 lives were saved because of the deployment of air bags.

In addition, it was estimated that 252 children under the age of 4 were saved by the use of child restraints. The estimations are gathered from police reports where the scene of the accident was examined and determinations made that took into account the force and direction of any impact which the seat belt is primarily designed to protect. As a result, the officers on the scene would conclude the influence the seat belt had in savings lives.

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Seat Belt Laws

Seat Belt Buckle Up Law and Warning