Seat Belt Safety

One of the safest choices drivers or passengers can make is to buckle up. In 2015, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives. Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt - the national use rate is at 90.1% - but nearly 27.5 million still don't buckle up. Find out about the potentially fatal consequences of not wearing a seat belt and what you can do to make sure you and your family are properly buckled up every time.

Why Buckle Up?

  • Studies show seat belts do save lives and reduce injuries during crashes.
  • Seat belts work with air bags to protect occupants. Air bags alone are not enough to safeguard occupants.
  • In New Jersey, an average of 133 unrestrained motor vehicle drivers and passengers are killed in crashes each year.
  • Seat belts saved almost 14,000 lives during 2015 in the United States.
  • Seat belt use in 2015 reached 88.5%, a significant increase from 84% in 2011 in the United States.
  • In 2015, 22,441 occupants of passenger vehicles died in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Of the 22,441 total occupants killed, 10,635 were restrained. Restraint use was not known for 1,932 occupants. Looking at only occupants where the restraint status was known, 48% were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
  • More than 1,600 unbuckled motor vehicle occupants died on New Jersey's roadways in the past 10 years.
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that child safety seats reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71% for infants (younger than 1 year old) and by 54% for toddlers (ages 1 to 4 years) in passenger cars.

New Jersey Seat Belt Law: (NJS 39:3-76.2f)

Seat Belt Safety Flyer

Applies to all passenger vehicles including vans, pickup trucks and SUV's, that are required to be equipped with seat belts.

  • Applies to all passengers (including the rear seat), who are at least 8 years of age or at least 57 inches tall, and each driver and front seat passenger of a passenger automobile, operated on a street or highway. All of these occupants are required to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt system.
  • Makes the driver responsible for proper seat belt use by all occupants who are under the age of 18.

Helpful Resources

Visit the National Highway Safety Administration and the State of New Jersey website for additional information regarding seat belt safety.