Summer holidays — especially the Fourth of July — are the deadliest holidays to be on the road. But wearing a seatbelt could be the difference between life and death. In 2020, the Missouri Highway Patrol reported nearly 70% of traffic fatalities involved drivers and passengers who weren’t wearing seatbelts.
“Wearing a seatbelt is one of the healthiest decisions you can make,” said Mike McGee, RN, CEN, trauma prevention expert at North Kansas City Hospital. “By simply buckling up, drivers and front-seat passengers can reduce their risk of a fatal injury by nearly 50%.”
• Missouri law requires drivers and passengers to wear a seatbelt any time a motor vehicle is being operated.
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports approximately 90% of Americans wear seatbelts. This results in an estimated 15,000 lives saved each year.
• Bruising is the most common injury in drivers and passengers who are wearing a seatbelt during an accident. However, unbuckled individuals can be lodged within the vehicle or ejected entirely, which is almost always fatal.
• Airbags don’t replace seatbelts; they are designed to work together. Without a seatbelt, a deployed airbag can result in serious injury and sometimes death.