Posted on: May. 15, 2017 in Safety, Driving, Accidents

As traffic accidents and fatalities continue to rise, and with warm weather already here or approaching in most parts of the country, it’s time to focus again on safety. A larger percentage of crashes can be attributed to distracted driving, with texting and other phone usage a major contributing factor, but passengers and drivers not wearing seat belts is the reason why nearly half of them are killed. Often, it’s clear to investigators that the person would have been alive today had a seat belt been in uses. Despite the campaigns by local law enforcement agencies encouraging those riding in cars to “click it or ticket,” many still take their chances and ride without the seat belt.  


Wearing a seat belt can be a life saver – but only if it’s used properly. Here are some tips for wearing seat belts correctly. Both the lap and chest portions of the seat belt must be in the proper position. The lap portion should cross the upper thighs. The upper portion should cross the chest diagonally. The belt should fit tightly across both your lap and chest. A loose seat belt will not hold you securely in place, increasing the chance of injury.

Never slip the upper portion of the seat belt under your arm or behind your back. If the seat belt does not fit correctly, use the height adjuster to change the position. If you’re still not able to use it properly, talk to your mechanic or car dealer about other options. Children often find that the adult belts are uncomfortable or do not fit properly. This is generally because the seat belts were designed for adults. Rules vary from state to state about the kind of child restraints that must be employed, however, children should remain in the back seat until at least the age of 13. In fact, they should still use booster seats longer than most would imagine. For the state regulations in your area, visit the website of the Governors Highway Safety Administration.  

Pregnant women should also always wear their seat belt. The lower portion should sit under the belly and fit snugly over the hips. Do not place the lap belt across the belly. The upper portion should be worn between the breasts and to the side of the belly. Babies should ride in a car seat appropriate for their size and weight, securely installed per the manufacturer’s guidelines. The child also should remain rear-facing as long as possible, with some experts recommending up to two years of age, to prevent severe neck injuries in an accident.

Having everyone properly seat belted can save lives. Unsecured passengers can get thrown about, resulting in injury to themselves and others. Children are particularly vulnerable. As a driver, refuse to move the car until everyone is wearing a seat belt. Doing so can save a life. If you’re ready for a new car but your credit is keeping you from getting approved, CreditYes can help with our bad credit auto loan program! We can match you with a dealership in your area that will be with you ever step of the way. Our service is fast and free. Fill out our secure online application and get behind the wheel of your next car today!