Seat Belt Safety

Traffic crashes are devastating. We lose the equivalent of a fully-loaded 737 airplane each day in this country on our highways due to traffic crashes. Safety belts can prevent serious injury and even death in a crash. Studies show that 3 out of 5 victims in fatal car crashes likely would have survived if they had buckled up. The public knows they should buckle up for safety, but despite this awareness. research shows that many are not taking the steps necessary to protect themselves and their children on every ride.

Many people are under the mistaken notion that trips around their homes are safe. and they fail to make it a point that everyone buckles up. The truth is most traffic crashes happen close to home where people do the most driving. Every hour. at least one person in this country dies because he or she didn't buckle up. Failure to use a seat belt contributes to causing more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior.

Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. Seat belts and child safety seats help prevent injury by:
  • Allowing the body to slow down gradually
  • Preventing ejection from the vehicle
  • Protecting the head and spinal card
  • Shifting crash forces to the strongest parts of the body’s structure
  • Spreading forces over a wide area of the body

How To Wear Your Safety Belt

To get the most benefit out of your seat belt. you should wear it low over the pelvis with the bottom edge touching the tops of the thighs. The shoulder belt should be worn over the shoulder and across the chest. not under the arm and over the abdomen. Make certain that the shoulder belt is not worn so loosely that it does not slide off your shoulder.

Pregnant women should wear the lap belt below the abdomen and the shoulder belt above the belly. Wear your lap belt and shoulder belt: Research has found that proper use of lap/shoulder belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50 percent (for occupants of light trucks. 60 percent and 65 percent respectively).

Michigan Law

Michigan has a primary seat belt law. which means law enforcement can stop and ticket motorists solely for not being buckled up. The law requires:
  • Drivers and front-seat passengers to be buckled up
  • Passengers 8-15 to buckle up in all seating positions
Michigan's child passenger safety law requires:
  • Children younger than age 4 to ride in a car seat in the rear seat if the vehicle has a rear seat. If all available rear seats are occupied by children under 4. then a child under 4 may ride in a car seat in the front seat. A child in a rear-facing car seat may only ride in the front seat if the airbag is turned off.
  • Children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement. whichever comes first.
The Garden City Police Department asks that you protect yourself and the ones you love Buckle up on every trip.

Child Safety Seats

Child safety seats. used correctly in passenger cars. reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for toddlers. In light trucks. the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent. respectively.