Although more than 95 percent of drivers in Illinois are reportedly buckling up, seatbelt usage among back seat passengers is still “lagging behind,” according to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). In fact, a recent IDOT study indicates that only about 85 percent of back seat passengers wear their seatbelts, despite the fact that Illinois laws have required seatbelt use among these passengers for three years.
That is why IDOT officials are now “reminding the public that anyone who rides in a motor vehicle needs to buckle up, no matter where they are sitting.”
Noting the importance of seatbelt use and IDOT’s efforts to encourage it among all motor vehicle occupants, IDOT Director Jared Thornley has stated:
Vehicle miles and fatalities are up on Illinois roads in recent months. We urge more back seat passengers to follow the law and buckle up…Too many preventable injuries and fatalities continue to happen to passengers in the back seat. Increasing seat belt use means fewer deaths and serious injuries. It’s that simple.
Col. Tad Williams of the Illinois State Police (ISP) has expressed similar concerns, explaining that:
Drivers and front seat passengers understand the importance of buckling up, but it is equally important for those in the rear seat to buckle up as well…The safety of everyone in a vehicle is dependent on all passengers wearing their seat belt. During a traffic crash, unbuckled passengers can be thrown around and cause injury to other occupants. As a reminder, all vehicle passengers are required to wear a seat belt. It’s the law and it can help save your life or the life of another.
3 Important Facts about Seatbelts
- Seatbelt usage is less likely among drivers younger than 35, males and those in rural areas – In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), males, as well as adults who live in rural areas, are approximately 10 percent less likely to wear seatbelts (than females and those in suburban regions). Additionally, while seatbelt use tends to be less prevalent among drivers and passengers who are younger than 35, a lack of seatbelt use is a factor in about half of all of the fatal crashes that kill people between the ages of 13 and 20 years old.
- Seatbelts provide protections that airbags do not – This is because seatbelts can provide protections that airbags cannot when the impact from a crash comes from the sides, rather than from the front or rear of the vehicle. Additionally, because back seats of vehicles are not typically equipped with airbags, seatbelts can be the only protections in place for some occupants if or when a traffic crash happens.
- Wearing a seatbelt can cut the risk of injury down by about half – This may be the single most important fact to know about seatbelt usage because it could save your life – and the lives of those you love. In fact, while wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of a crash-induced injury by about 45 to 50 percent, it can also prevent these injuries from being life-threatening.
Contact a St Louis Car Accident Lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law
If you have been hurt in a traffic accident, contact a St Louis car accident lawyer at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law for experienced help with your financial recovery. You can call us at 573-333-3333 for our Missouri office or 618-888-8888 for our Illinois office. You can also email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen.