Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of trauma admissions at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. The simple facts are that teens buckle up less often in the car than adults do, and even with the national seat belt use rate at 90.4% in 2021, teens need more reminders that using their seat belt is not optional.
Here are some things to talk to teens about to help them understand the importance of seat belt use:
- Air bags help keep you safe, but they alone are not enough. Air bags were designed to work with the seat belt in use to keep the passenger from being seriously injured or killed.
- Seat belt use helps to keep you secure inside your vehicle in the event of a motor vehicle crash. If the seat belt isn’t used, the likelihood of being ejected from the vehicle in a crash is high.
- Seat belts must be worn properly. They are effective when used as they were designed to.
Parents, remember that your teen may be becoming an adult, but they watch you more than you realize. Wear your seat belt correctly every ride in the car and be a good example for them to emulate. Don’t underestimate children or teens. Talk to them and help them understand the importance of seat belt use. Setting the rules of the road for your teen and enforcing seat belt use could save your teen driver’s life.
When your teen is ready to drive, have a discussion about the rules of safe driving, and download the Parent-Teen Driving Contract here to make a commitment to teen driving safety together. For more teen driving safety tips click here.