MDOT MVA Launches Campaign for Seat Belt UsageOctober 23, 2019
The Maryland Department of Transportation and Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) recently announced its newest campaign, Seat Belts Look Good on You. The campaign aims to encourage seat belt usage amongst the nation’s most stubborn demographic: teenagers.
The campaign follows the results of the statewide 2019 Roadside Observation Seat Belt Survey. The survey results indicated that seat belt usage is slightly on the rise. According to the data, 90.4 percent of drivers use seat belts in 2019. This is higher than the 90.3 percent of drivers who used seat belts in 2018. However, critics are still not satisfied with the rise in seat belts; most are hopeful that seat belt usage will rise to 100 percent.
According to the MDOT MVA, car accidents are the leading cause of death for those aged five to 24 years old. Therefore, this demographic is the target audience for the organization’s newest campaign. Although seat belt usage is on the rise, teen drivers are particularly difficult to influence. As part of the MDOT MVA’s newest campaign, teen drivers aged 16 to 19 might receive a free seat belt necktie or scarf if they complete a road skills test, which will occur on the third Friday of the month throughout the school year. This is MDOT MVA’s tactic to encourage seat belt usage amongst teen drivers.
The Importance of Seat Belt Usage
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost half of those killed in car accidents in 2017 did not wear their seat belt. Similarly, the NHTSA stated that nearly 15,000 people were saved by seat belts in 2017. These figures prove that seat belts have a huge significance in the outcome of a car accident. Wearing a seat belt is the best thing a driver can do to prevent death or injury in an accident. According to the NHTSA, individuals who wear their seat belt in the front seat can prevent fatal injury by 45 percent. Similarly, they also prevent moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.
Teen Drivers and Seat Belts
It is especially important for teen drivers to understand the importance of seat belts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), teen drivers are the least likely to use a seat belt out of any other age group. To encourage teen drivers to buckle up behind the wheel, parents should get involved.
Some tips for parents include:
- Monitoring their teen driver’s driving habits
- Having a conversation about the importance of using seat belts
- Setting a good example by always having their seat belt on while driving
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