National Teen Driver Safety Awareness Week: Seatbelt Use and Speeding

Teens buckle up the least of any age group, and the consequences are deadly.

That’s according to According to survey statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 only 55 percent of high school students reported always wearing a seat belt when riding with someone else.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2012, 58 percent of young adults (ages 13-20) that died in crashes were not wearing seatbelts.

While statistics seem to easily sum it up, asked Massillon Police Sgt. Brian Muntean why seatbelts are so important.

“Newton’s first law of motion – sometimes referred to as the law of inertia,” he explained. “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”

And while personal discretion may be enough for some when it comes to choosing to buckle up, the Ohio Revised Code goes a step further to mandate it.

The Ohio Revised Code requires the use of safety belts for all drivers in the front seats. And children eight through 15-years-old must also wear a safety belt or use a child restraint device, when appropriate, at all times whether in the front or back seat.

A common argument against the use of safety belts suggests a person could become trapped inside a burning or flooding vehicle.

Sgt. Muntean explained, “If you’re not belted, you’re likely to be ejected during a violent crash.” Muntean acknowledged there are stories of people getting trapped, but noted: “Trust me that we see the crashes, and ejection and/or your face being implanted into the windshield as a much bigger concern for you.”

In part four of the awareness series, Sgt. Muntean will discuss drivers’ education and his opinion as to whether it’s enough to prepare teens to go behind the wheel.

Michaela Madison Reporting

(Photo – Teen Driving Plan – YouTube)

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