SEAT BELT USE
What safety features did you look for when you purchased your vehicle?
All your vehicle’s carefully engineered safety systems are useless—unless you buckle up. The failure to wear a seat belt results in more motor vehicle deaths in North Dakota than any other factor. Seat belts are the single most effective tool to prevent injuries and deaths—there is no excuse, buckle up.
In 2016, 58% of motor vehicle fatalities in North Dakota were not wearing seat belts.
For the best protection, position your seat belt correctly:
- The shoulder belt should cross the center of your chest, with no more than one inch of slack. Never tuck the shoulder belt under your arm! Wearing the harness the wrong way could cause serious internal injuries in a crash.
- Adjust the strap so it goes over the collarbone, not against the neck or face. Most vehicles have a sliding height adjustments on the interior doorpost.
- The lap belt goes low across the hips—never across the stomach.
- Sit upright with your back against the seat and your feet on the floor.
Seat belts protect you by:
- Keeping you in the vehicle
- Spreading the force of impact over a large area and the strongest part of the body
- Allowing your body to slow down gradually, lessening the impact on internal organs
- Preventing impact with the interior of the vehicle
- Preventing collision with other occupants of the vehicle
- Preventing trauma to the brain and spinal cord caused by sudden change in motion.
North Dakota Seat Belt Law
All front seat occupants must be properly buckled up regardless of age. All occupants younger than 18 must be properly restrained regardless of their location in a vehicle. Children ages 7 to 17 must be properly secured in a seat belt or child restraint.
What can you do?
- If you don’t buckle up, the consequences can be deadly. Buckle up every time you ride in a vehicle.
- Use your seat belt properly, with the shoulder belt positioned snugly over the center of the chest and the lap belt low over the pelvis, not across the stomach.
- Insist that everyone in your vehicle buckles up.
Always remember the Code for the Road. Buckle up, every trip, every time. Seat belts save lives.