Seat Belt Use: Facts and Stats
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Seat Belt Statistics

Teens, as both passengers and drivers, have the lowest rate of seat belt use of any age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Seat belt statistics show the consequences are deadly for not using seat belts. In 2019, 36,096 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes on US roadways, with nearly half (47%) not wearing a seat belt. More states are enacting primary seat belt laws to potentially save many teen lives.

Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. More than 3 out of 4 people who are ejected during a crash die from their injuries.

Parents should insist on seat belts on every trip and encourage their teens to buckle up before turning on the ignition.

Watch this video with your teen about how to buckle up correctly for optimum safety:

Sharing seat belt statistics with your teen will increase awareness of a proven way to stay safe on the road. 



Over 60% of pediatric spinal fractures occur in children ages 15-17, coinciding with the beginning of legal driving. Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are the most common cause, and nearly two-thirds of pediatric spinal fractures sustained in MVCs occurred when seat belts were not used.

More Seat Belt Statistics

  • In 2019, 1,603 young adults (ages 15-20) died in motor vehicle crashes on US roadways, with nearly half (46%) not wearing a seat belt.

  • In 2019, 43% of high school students nationwide reported not always wearing a seat during the past month. 

  • When used properly, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45% and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%.

  • Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.

  • People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. 

  • Teens who say their parents set rules and monitor their driving are twice as likely to wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger as teens with less involved parents.

Pick Your Practice

With a couple of clicks, think about what skills you would like to practice first as a learner driver, and we’ll point you to videos and tips on how to practice them. Take this online driving quiz to Pick Your Practice!

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