Seat Belts and Child Passenger Safety


Courtesy Highway National Traffic Safety Administration

Seat Belt Laws Overview

Each year, about 37,000 people are killed in motor vehicle crashes. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people younger than 25 in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that among passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2018, where it was known whether they were wearing a seat belt, 47% were unrestrained. In total, 9,778 individuals who died in crashes in 2018 were unrestrained. NHTSA’s research also indicates that 87% of passenger vehicle occupants who survived fatal crashes in 2018 were restrained, and 13% were unrestrained. Seat belts in passenger vehicles saved approximately 14,955 lives in 2017 and prevented thousands of injuries. An additional 2,549 lives could have been saved in 2017 if all unrestrained passengers involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, according to NHTSA.