One of the first actions motorists and passengers can take to stay safe in vehicles is to put on their seat belts. When worn properly, they can reduce the severity of physical trauma and save lives in car accidents. Despite the importance of seat belts, some motorists, in particular, teen drivers and backseat and rideshare passengers, do not wear them and risk the devastating consequences that serious car accidents bring. 

Seat belt use does not completely eliminate the risk of catastrophic injuries and fatalities in car accidents. Kentucky law requires everyone inside of a vehicle to wear seat belts. Here are some reasons that vehicle occupants choose not to buckle up. 

Image 

Teens are often more susceptible to making choices based on what their peers think, and some young drivers believe that wearing a seat belt could have a negative impact on their image. Young motorists and passengers often give in to peer pressure instead of putting their safety first. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about half of the drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2017 were not wearing seat belts. 

Comfort 

Despite changes in design, advances in technology and more safety features in vehicles, seat belt designs and placement are standard. Though adjustable, seat belts are not always comfortable for some people, such as pregnant women and those with certain health conditions or body types. 

Lack of awareness 

Some drivers do not understand how much of an impact proper and regular seat belt use has on their safety. Airbags and other safety features are most effective in collisions when vehicle occupants wear seat belts. 

People may not realize that seat belt use can also have an impact on car accident insurance and personal injury claims. Failure to wear a seat belt can lead to a lower settlement offer, a denial from an insurer or an unfavorable outcome in a personal injury suit.