Buckle up to save lives

By Steve Porter MoDOT Senior Customer Relations Specialist
Posted: February 15, 2013 - 5:07 PM

Legal gambling in Missouri is restricted to adults only, yet thousands of Missouri’s teen drivers bet their lives each time they get behind the wheel. Sure, it’s against the law to drive without buckling up, but teens seem to think their chances are good, even if they are dead wrong and the stakes are high.
Missouri’s overall seat belt use is 79 percent, compared to 84 percent nationwide. That’s bad enough. But teen seatbelt usage is only 67 percent. One in three teens doesn’t buckle up, yet that is the single most effective thing they can do to tip the odds in their favor to survive a car crash.
Seven out of 10 Missourians killed in a traffic crash were unbuckled. Not wearing a seatbelt doesn’t guarantee you will die in a car crash. It just tilts the wheel of misfortune against you so severely that leaving that seatbelt unbuckled is a sucker bet.
Seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45 percent. Even if you never intend to gamble at the boats or Vegas, you face risk each time you get behind the wheel. It only makes sense to do everything you can to tilt the odds in your favor. If you are young, less experienced behind the wheel and more likely to be distracted by a wide range of temptations such as cell phones, the gambling line on your life is moving in the wrong direction.
Don’t gamble with your life. Buckling up is the biggest game changer you can make to come out a winner.