Occupant Protection

Occupant Protection Info: Buckle Up Cell Down | Saved By The Belt | Mark Martin Nascar Hall Of Fame | Facts Or Myths About Seat Belts | S.A.F.E. Driver Pledge

Click It or Ticket Commercial Featuring Nascar Hall of Fame Mark Martin

Next Click It Or Ticket Campaign/Mobilization November 22-28, 2021

Buckle Up Cell Down

A seat belt is your best defense against an impaired or distracted driver. Buckle-up. Cell Down Every trip. Every time.

Do you know…

  • Three out of four fatal crashes occur within 25 miles of the victim’s home.
  • Most crashes causing death or injury occur at speeds below 40 miles per hour!
  • Nearly 18% of Arkansas drivers do not wear their seat belts.

Using a handheld device while driving is a leading cause of distraction-related crashes. Put the cell phone down and just drive. Click here for more about 'Buckle Up Cell Down.'

Facts And Myths About Seat Belts

MYTH: Seat belts are uncomfortable or inconvenient.

FACT: Initially people may find seat belts uncomfortable, confining or inconvenient simply because they're not used to wearing them. Those people who have made buckling up a habit can testify that once their use does become a habit, there is no discomfort or inconvenience. It can't be overemphasized that the serious discomfort and inconvenience of motor vehicle crash injury in no way compares to the imaginary discomfort or the inconvenience you may think you feel wearing a seat belt the first few times.

MYTH: The seat belts in my car don't work.

FACT: It's important that everyone realizes that newer shoulder belts are made so that you can move comfortably but they will still lock up during sudden stops or crashes. Many people mistake this freedom of movement as a broken mechanism. Newer shoulder belts are designed to lock up only when the car changes speed or direction suddenly, not when the occupant changes position.

MYTH: Drivers in air bag-equipped vehicles don't need to wear seat belts.

FACT: Air bags provide supplemental protection in frontal crashes, but motorists can slide under them if they are not wearing a seat belt. In addition, air bags will not help in side or rear impact or rollover crashes. Motorists should wear a seat belt for protection in all types of crashes.

MYTH: I don't want to be trapped in a fire or underwater.

FACT: Crashes involving fire or water happen in only 1/2 of one percent of all crashes. So it doesn't happen often. However, when they do occur the best chance of survival rests in remaining conscious, uninjured, and in full possession of your faculties. The greatest danger is with the impact that precedes the fire or submersion in water. If you're not using a seat belt, it's very likely that you will be knocked unconscious or severely injured. If you're belted, it's very likely you will be able to unbuckle yourself and get out of a potential fire or submerged car situation.

MYTH: I'd rather be thrown clear in a crash.

FACT: Being thrown safely clear in a crash is almost impossible. When you're thrown, you may be thrown through the windshield, scraped along the pavement, or even crushed by your own vehicle or another one. The idea of being thrown from a car and gently landing in a grassy area beside the road is pure fantasy. Your best bet in a crash is to stay inside the vehicle, securely held by your seat belt.

MYTH: Seat belts can hurt you in a crash.

FACT: Properly worn seat belts seldom cause injuries. If they do, the injuries are usually surface bruises and are generally less severe than would have been the case without any belt. Without seat belts, you could have been thrown out of the vehicle and severely injured. It is true that sometimes the force of a crash is so great that nothing could have prevented injuries. Studies have consistently shown that injuries in most serious crashes would have been much more severe had seat belts not been worn.

MYTH: I'm not going far and I won't be going fast.

FACT: This is the comment that so many people living in rural areas use when asked why they do not buckle up. It's important to remember that most crash deaths occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour. This emphasizes that everyday driving from just one neighbor's home to another, to school, or to the corner store poses the greatest danger.

MYTH: The chance that I'll have an accident is so small, those things only happen to other people.

FACT: This is an attitude that is universal to everything we do. It's comfortable to think that accidents only happen to other people. However, one out of three people will be seriously injured in a car crash sometime during their lives. This is really a significant risk. We never know when it will occur or how it will occur. The answer -- buckle up every trip, every time.

MYTH: I'm a good driver, it won't happen to me.

FACT: You may be a good driver, but you cannot always control the other drivers on the road. The statistics related to motor vehicle crashes and drunk drivers are devastating. Even if you are driving defensively, a drunk driver coming around the next curve may not be. Again, you never know what might happen. Play it safe. Buckle up every trip, every time.

Saved By The Belt!

The Arkansas State Police - Highway Safety Office Saved by the Belt raises awareness about the importance and responsibility of everyone to buckle up. The traveling public is one of our largest and important safety partners in the efforts to eliminate traffic related fatalities and serious injuries in Arkansas. Everyone can/must do their part to pursue zero fatalities and make it a reality. Click here to read more about 'Saved By The Belt'

Simply say, "I'll do it." Make the Life Saving Choice Buckle Up Arkansas!

Read more about Saved By The Belt | Nominate a Traffic Crash Survivor or Submit your own 'Saved By The Belt' Story | 'Saved By The Belt Stories, click here. | Want to read Back-Story on first SBTB Testimonial, click here?

Based On NHTSA's Research

From 2005-2009 Arkansas had 3,153 fatalities. Of these fatalities 2,513 or 80 percent were passenger vehicle occupants where use of a seat belt was a factor in the outcome of the crash.

Seat belt use has been proven to reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and 60 percent for light-truck occupants. In 2010, Arkansas’ seat belt usage rate was 78.3 percent while the national usage rate was 85 percent.

Young drivers from age 16 to age 34 and particularly those between 16 and 24 make up a higher percentage of fatalities versus their percentage of the overall population.

Men are overrepresented in passenger vehicle fatalities. Men represented 62 percent of the fatalities but they are only 49 percent of the population.

White’s are 77 percent of the population and 80 percent of the passenger vehicle fatalities. African Americans are 15 percent of the population and 14 percent of the passenger vehicle fatalities.

Act 562 of the 1991 Arkansas General Assembly provided for mandatory seat belt use seat belt law. The passage of the seat belt law and the implementation of STEPs to enforce the law and provide public information were instrumental in the State’s use rate increasing from 33.6 percent in 1991 to 52.0 percent in 1999.

Arkansas passed a primary safety belt law which took effect June 30, 2009. The 2009 seat belt survey showed adult seat belt use at 74.4%. In 2010 seat belt use increased to 78.3%. Preliminary data for the most recent 2011 survey shows the use rate at 78.4%. The 5-year moving average shows seatbelt use in Arkansas continuing to trend upward.

Recognizing the importance of promoting seat belt use, the HSO will continue to contract with an advertising/public relations firm to provide high-visibility public information campaigns. Other projects will also continue to educate young drivers about seat belts; to educate the public about child passenger safety (CPS); to train law enforcement, healthcare and childcare professionals, and other highway safety advocates in CPS; and to continue child safety seat loaner programs.

Occupant protection selective traffic enforcement projects (STEPs) were continued in FY 2011. These 36 projects included selective enforcement of speeding, seat belt laws and impaired driving. The primary emphasis of these projects was the enforcement of seat belt and child restraint laws. A PI&E component supplemented these projects.

The Click It or Ticket (CIOT) Campaign implemented in 2002 continues to play an important part in efforts to raise the adult seat belt use rate. This enforcement mobilization effort was instrumental in raising the adult seat belt use rate from 63.7 percent in 2002 to 78.3% in 2010. These projects and the CIOT program will be continued in FY 2012. In addition, current efforts will be expanded to recruit law enforcement agencies for participation in the mobilizations. These additional agencies will assist with the increased emphasis on stepping up enforcement efforts.

The communities selected for Selective Traffic Enforcement Projects fall within the top 50 ranked counties. A methodology was developed to identify counties with the greatest need for an occupant protection project.

Make the Life Saving Choice Buckle Up, Arkansas!

Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office