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Seatbelt Use

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When worn, safety belts do make your trip safer–– they do help save lives!

FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SAFETY BELTS

  1. Collisions involving fire or submersion make up less than 1/2 of 1% of all traffic collisions.
  2. Your chances of survival in a burning or submerged vehicle are far greater if you are wearing your safety belt because you are most likely to remain conscious and, therefore, more able to escape the vehicle.
  3. More than 80% of all collisions occur at speeds less than 40 miles per hour, and three out of four collisions causing death occur within 25 miles of home
  4. Although your lap belt helps, it will not prevent serious injury from striking your head and chest on the steering wheel, dashboard, and A lap and shoulder belt offer you the best possible protection in the event of a crash.
  5. Auto collisions are the number one killer and crippler of children under the age of five.
  6. The chances of being killed are almost 25 times greater if you’re thrown from the car.
  1. Holding your child in your arms will not protect your A 15 pound infant will suddenly weigh 450 pounds because of the forces unleashed in just a 30-mph collision.
  2. An unrestricted adult can crush a child held in the arms during a collision.
  3. Loose belts do not indicate that the belts are Belts manufactured after 1974 utilize an inertia reel that makes the belt system “car sensitive,” meaning that they lock when the car slows down too quickly. These belt systems were designed for passenger comfort.
  4. Safety belts offer you the best possible protection in a car crash and, therefore, are your best defense against the drunk driver.
  5. A 30-mph head-on collision unleashes forces approximately 20 times the force of gravity (20 G’s). Under these conditions, objects (including passengers) can be thrown forward with a force equal to 30 times their own weight.
  6. Small children need special In a collision, a lap belt may put too much pressure on a small child’s hips and abdomen. Car safety seats are designed to distribute crash forces over a large area of the body.
  7. Only an approved dynamically crash tested safety designed child car seat can provide adequate crash All such seats conform to Federal Standard 213-80.
  8. A child restrained in a car safety seat is better behaved and less likely to distract the driver and create a hazard within the car.

SAFETY BELT USE IS REQUIRED BY LAW

Alaska law AS 28.05.095 requires everyone in a motor vehicle to use a safety belt. Drivers must wear a safety belt. The driver is also responsible for all passengers under the age of 16 years. The law requires federally approved child restraint devices for passengers under four years old. Passengers aged from 4 up to 16 must wear a seat belt or a child restraint device; whichever is age appropriate.

A driver may not transport a child under the age of 16 in a motor vehicle unless the driver has provided the required safety device and properly secured each child as described in this section (please see exceptions below). A child:

(1) less than one year of age or a child one year of age or older who weighs less than 20 pounds shall be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat that meets or exceeds standards of the United States Department of Transportation and is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

(2) one or more years of age but less than five years of age who weighs 20 pounds or more shall be properly secured in a child restraint device that meets or exceeds the standards of the United States Department of Transportation and is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

(3) over four years of age but less than eight years of age who is less than 57 inches in height and weighs 20 or more pounds but less than 65 pounds shall be properly secured in a booster seat that is secured by a seat belt system or by another child passenger restraint system that meets or exceeds the standards of the United States Department of Transportation and is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;

(4) over four years of age who exceeds the height or weight requirements in (3) of this subsection shall be properly secured in a seat belt;

(5) eight years of age but less than 16 years of age who does not exceed the height and weight requirements in (3) of this subsection shall be properly secured in a child safety device approved for a child that size by the United States Department of Transportation or in a safety belt, whichever is appropriate for the particular child as determined solely by the driver.

There are exceptions to the seat belt law:

  1. Vehicles built prior to 1965 which did not have safety belts as original equipment and are not classified as a custom collector vehicle.
  2. Vehicle operators acting in the course of employment delivering mail or newspapers from inside the vehicle to roadside boxes.
  3. Passengers in a school bus unless the bus is required to be equipped with safety belts.
  4. Passengers in an emergency vehicle.
  5. People or a class of people exempt by the Commissioner of Public Safety, as defined by regulations.

A driver may be fined up to $50 and may receive two demerit points on their operator’s

license for failure to restrain passengers under age 16. Adult violations are subject to a $15 fine.

A provision of the law allows the court to waive the $15 fine for persons convicted under this law if that person donates $15 to the EMS organization. Convicted drivers pay the fine to an EMS organization listed in the current version of the Alaska Emergency Medical Services Directory. Drivers send a copy of the citation along with the receipt from the EMS organization to the court.

Child Restraint Systems

THE NUMBER 1 CURE FOR THE GREATEST KILLER OF CHILDREN

After the critical early weeks of life for a newborn baby, automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for American children with tens of thousands more children being seriously injured. Small children, unless they are properly restrained, become flying missiles until a stationary object stops their forward progress. It is a tragic fact that most deaths and injuries resulting from automobile crashes could have been avoided if parents had taken the time to properly buckle up their children in an approved child restraint system.

There are many types of child restraint systems available at department stores, children’s shops, and even through some mail order catalogs. Shop around for the car seat that will best suit your child and your car before your baby is born. Insure your baby’s first ride home from the hospital is a SAFE ride!

Alaska Child Passenger Safety Coalition is comprised of representatives from numerous public and private agencies throughout the state that share a common goal of protecting children traveling on the roadways of Alaska. Members include healthcare professionals, firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement officers, injury prevention professionals, health and safety personnel, educators, parents, businesses, foundations, policymakers, and volunteers. Visit www.carseatsak.org for more information.

REMEMBER: Once your children are secured and safe… don’t YOU forget YOUR safety belt!