INDIANA – State traffic safety offices and law enforcement agencies across the nation are kicking off “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement ahead of the Memorial Day holiday and the unofficial start of summer vacation season.
AAA predicts that 37.6 million Americans will travel by car this weekend to destinations including the 103rd Running of the Indianapolis 500, marking a 3.6 percent increase from last year.
Highly visible police patrols are watching for unrestrained passengers in cars and trucks, both children and adults, the front seat and back, both day and night. Overtime enforcement is paid with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
Indiana law requires the driver and all passengers to buckle up. Children under age eight must be properly restrained in child car seat or booster seat.
Don’t be a statistic
The share of Hoosiers not buckling up has dropped to 6.6 percent, below the national average of 10.4 percent. But new data from ICJI and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute show that unrestrained motorists still make up 53 percent of traffic deaths.
Unrestrained motorists are more likely to die in crashes by 10 times in cars and SUVs, 14 times in pickup trucks and 15 times in vans.
Male drivers, particularly those age 15-44, are the least likely to be buckled during a crash. Injury rates among unrestrained motorists are also higher:
In rural counties,
When a driver is speeding or impaired, and
On weekend nights between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.
Make It Click
The Governors Highway Safety Association is partnering with Uber and Volvo North America on a “Make It Click” campaign to promote rear seat belt use. According to the latest national data, nearly half of back-seat passengers who die in crashes would survive if they buckle up. Unrestrained passengers also become projectiles during crashes, and can injure or kill others in the car.
Don’t buckle up just for yourself
Traffic crashes are the leading killer of children ages 1 to 13, and adults set the example. Parents and caregivers who do not buckle up are more likely to have kids who are improperly restrained. That means one ticket for the driver and one for each unrestrained child.
Choose the safest car seat for your child’s height and weight at www.safercar.gov/therightseat. Find a certified car-seat safety technician to assist with installation and proper usage at www.preventinjury.org/Child-Passenger-Safety/Child-Safety-Seat-Inspection-Stations or through the SaferCar app on the App Store or Google Play.
What is the best way to reduce your chances of injury or death? Buckle up! Below are tips for proper seat-belt use:
- Secure the lap belt across your hips and pelvis, below your stomach.
- Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and rib cage, away from your neck.
- Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.
- If your seat belt doesn’t fit you, or you have an older car with lap belts only, ask your dealer or vehicle manufacturer about seat-belt adjusters, extenders or retrofits.