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Seat Belts

Photo: Female driver putting on a seatbelt

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among those age 5-34 in the U.S.1 More than 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2009.2 Adult seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.3 Yet millions of adults do not wear their seat belts on every trip.2

Get the Facts

In the Spotlight

Policy Impact: Seat Belts
CDC recommends effective, well-enforced seat belt laws to ensure that every person in every seat buckles up on every trip.

Vital Signs: Adult Seat Belt Use
CDC Vital Signs offers recent data on important health topics. This issue of Vital Signs focuses on seat belt use and its importance in saving lives and reducing injuries from motor vehicle crashes.

MMWR: Vital Signs — Motor Vehicle Occupant Injuries and Seat Belt Use
Seat belt use has become the national norm, though rates of self-reported seat belt use vary widely from state to state, with a high of 94 percent in Oregon, and a low of 59 percent in North Dakota.

Tools for Parents to Keep Young Drivers and Passengers Safe



  1. CDC. WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2010. Available at Accessed October 12, 2010.
  2. CDC. Vital Signs: Nonfatal, motor vehicle-occupant injuries (2009) and seat belt use (2008) among adults—United States. MMWR 2011; 59.
  3. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Lives saved in 2009 by restraint use and minimum-drinking-age laws. Washington, D.C.: US Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: 2010. Publication no. DOT-HS-811-383. Available at . Accessed December 13, 2010.


CDC Vital Signs™ – Learn vital information on seat belt use. Read    Vital Signs™…
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