Teen survey sheds light on safety belt use

Washington – One out of four teens does not wear a safety belt during every car ride, according to a report from Safe Kids Worldwide.

The report, which was funded as part of a $2 million grant from the General Motors Foundation, surveyed 1,000 teens about their safety habits as drivers and passengers. About 2,500 teens die every year in motor vehicle crashes, making it the age group’s No. 1 cause of death, Safe Kids Worldwide stated in a press release.

One-third of teens who admitted to not buckling up on every ride said they forget or it is not a habit. Other reasons include short trips (16 percent) or that the safety belt was not comfortable (11 percent).

Distracted driving also proved to be common. Thirty-nine percent of teens surveyed said they had ridden with a teen driver who was texting, and 28 percent reported riding with a parent who was texting.

Safe Kids Worldwide offered several tips for families to improve teen driving and passenger safety:

  • Buckle up on every ride, every time.
  • Talk with teens about how to speak up if a driver (of any age) is not being safe.
  • Be a role model in all of your driving habits.