Arrive Alive

Missouri Still Below National Average for Safety Belt Use

JEFFERSON CITY – Though the safety belt usage rate in Missouri has slowly risen over the past 17 years, reaching 81 percent last year. The state is still well below the national average of 90 percent. 

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 22–June 4 in the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign to highlight the importance of wearing your safety belt.  “Safety belts decrease your risk of dying in a crash by 45 percent,” said Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Sandra Karsten, “And last year alone, 943 lives were lost in Missouri crashes – 64 percent of them being unrestrained.”

The coalition also wants to remind drivers to keep their phones down while behind the wheel to reduce the risk of a crash. “Even if you aren’t texting and driving, another driver could be.  It’s still vital to wear your safety belt at all times – it could save your life,” said Highway Safety Director Bill Whitfield.

It’s the driver’s duty to assure all passengers are buckled before driving, including having all children in the appropriate restraints. Missouri’s child safety seat survey revealed that when drivers were not buckled up, 33 percent of children were not restrained either, but when the driver was buckled up, 98 of children were also restrained. To ensure safety, make sure kids use a car seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. Infants should travel in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they grow out of the rear-facing car seat’s height and weight requirements. Children should travel riding in the back seat of the vehicle until age 13.

To check that your car seat and child are restrained correctly, please contact a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area by calling 800-800-2358.

For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit www.saveMOlives.com or social media at Save MO Lives.

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