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Seat Belts

Wearing your seat belt is your best defense against injury or death in the event of a crash. A seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by up to 60 percent. Despite this, far too many motorists still refuse to buckle up for a variety of reasons.

There's No Excuse Not To Buckle Up

  • I'm not driving very far. FACT: Three out of four crashes occur within 25 miles of home.
  • I'm riding in the back seat. FACT: You can still be thrown from a vehicle even if you are riding in the back seat. If you are unrestrained, you also pose a risk to others in the vehicle with you.
  • I'm driving at night and the police won't see me. FACT: Police departments are increasing nighttime enforcement. In addition, there are more high-risk drivers on the roads at night, such as impaired drivers and drowsy drivers, which may present increased risk for a crash.
  • I'm pregnant and the seat belt is too tight. FACT: Wearing your seat belt is the best defense for you and your baby in the event of a crash. Adjust the lap belt so that it fits snugly over the hips and pelvis, below your belly.
  • I don't want to be trapped by a seat belt in case my vehicle catches fire or is submerged in water. FACT: Less than one-half of one percent of all injury crashes involves fire or submersion. Also, national research has shown you are 25 times more likely to be killed if you are ejected from the vehicle.

Click It or Ticket Campaign

Pennsylvania participates in the national Click It or Ticket campaign, where more than 600 municipal police departments and Pennsylvania State Police conduct enforcement during waves in May and November.

If you are a driver or passenger under 18 years of age, you must buckle up. Children under 8 years old must be properly restrained. See our Child Passenger Safety Information Center to learn more.

If you are a driver 18 or older and police pull you over for another violation, you'll receive a second ticket if you or your front-seat passengers aren't wearing seat belts.

Pennsylvania's Seat Belt Usage Rate

The seat belt usage rate was 88.5 percent in 2018. The trend has remained fairly steady for the past five years. Pennsylvania's rate is among the highest among states with secondary seat belt laws. National statistics show that for every 1 percent increase in seat belt usage, six to eight lives can be saved on the highways.

What Groups of People are Not Buckling Up?

According to national statistics, there are several demographic groups that have a lower seat belt rate than others. These groups include 16- to 24-year-olds, blacks, males and drivers who are alone in the vehicle.

In addition, research has shown that 67 percent of the pickup truck drivers killed in traffic crashes were not buckled up.