Occupant Protection

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

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.

Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Occupant Protection Info: Buckle Up Cell Down | Saved By The Belt | Mark Martin Nascar Hall Of Fame | Facts Or Fiction About Seat Belts | Click For Love | Top 5 Reasons To Buckle Up Every Trip | S.A.F.E. Driver Pledge

Click For Love

Your seat belt is crucial to surviving a crash. Make the life saving choice to buckle up every trip. Your loved ones deserve to have you around--all of your life. Make the heroic choice to click for your loved ones. Buckle Up, Arkansas! In 2019, nearly half of passenger vehicle occupants who died in crashes were unrestrained. That’s worth repeating. So, let’s say it another way of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.

From 1975 through 2017, seat belts saved an estimated 374,276 lives.*

The consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear:

1. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.

2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.

3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.

The benefits of buckling up are equally clear:

  1. If you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 45% (Kahane, 2015)
    • Moderate to critical injury by 50%
  2. If you buckle up in a light truck, you can reduce your risk of:
    • Fatal injury by 60% (Kahane, 2015)
    • Moderate to critical injury by 65% (NHTSA, 1984)

3. If your passengers in the back seat buckle-up you reduce the risk of being harmed by them if in a crash. Unbuckled back-seat passengers in a crash can become projectiles endangering or killing others in the car, especially the driver.


To read more about what AHSO is doing to make Arkansas roads safer in the area of Occupant Protection, click here

Think About The Consequences. Buckle Up Arkansas!

Fact Or Fiction About Seat Belts: 10 Heroic Reasons You Should Buckle Up Every Time

Ready for a few questions to test your knowledge about seat belts? There seems to be a few things we hear that need a little tweaking in our thinking about seat belt safety. But before we get started with those questions, let’s establish a couple of words for our conversation. A fact is a thing that is known or proved to be true. Whereas fiction is a belief or statement that is false, but often held to be true because it is convenient to do so. With that in mind, there are some statements that surround seat belt safety that are fictional.

Starting with a fact, you are more likely to encounter a lake, river or bridge in the wide-open spaces of Arkansas rural roadways out of the 418 miles of roads in the state than most places in the US. Now, see if you can spot the fact or fiction out of the following statements. The answer is directly below the question.

Fact Or Fiction? 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.

Fact Or Fiction? The seat belts in my car don't work. They feel too comfortable and loose.

Fiction. 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. Most likely, if it's a newer vehicle they are made this way. If it's an older vehicle or classic car with lap belts only, check with your vehicle manufacturer about how to retrofit your car with today’s safer lap/shoulder belts.

Fact Or Fiction? Drivers in air bag-equipped vehicles don't need to wear seat belts.

Fiction. 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.

Fact Or Fiction? 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 does happen but not 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.

Fact Or Fiction? I'd rather be thrown clear in a crash.

Fiction. 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. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Fact Or Fiction? Seat belts can hurt you in a crash.

Fact. In a crash, everything in your car can cause bodily harm, but your seat belt is one of the few things that can actually save you as well. Properly worn seat belts seldom cause injuries. If it does happen, 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.

Fact Or Fiction? I'm not going far and I won't be going fast--no need to wear a seat belt..

Fiction. 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.

Fact Or Fiction? The chance that I'll have an accident is so small, those things only happen to other people.

Fiction. 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.

Fact Or Fiction? I'm a good driver, it won't happen to me.

Fiction. 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 motoring public is one of our largest and important safety partners in the efforts to eliminate traffic related fatalities and serious injuries in Arkansas. Everyone 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?

Top 5 Reasons You Should Buckle Up Every Time Every Trip

1. Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash

Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

2. Designing air bags to work with seat belts, not replace them saves more lives was the best choice, according to manufacturers.

If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag. Such force could injure or even kill you. Learn about air bag safety.

3. Following the guidelines to buckle up safely reduces your risk of major injury or loss of life.

  • The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
  • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
  • NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.

4. Fitting seat belts matters more than one might think in choosing a car to purchase.

  • Before you buy a new car, check to see that its seat belts are a good fit for you.
  • Ask your dealer about seat belt adjusters, which can help you get the best fit.
  • If you need a roomier belt, contact your vehicle manufacturer to obtain seat belt extenders.
  • If you drive an older or classic car with lap belts only, check with your vehicle manufacturer about how to retrofit your car with today’s safer lap/shoulder belts.

5. Remembering another category of Seat belt safety for children and pregnant women is key.

Find out when your child is ready to use an adult seat belt and learn about seat belt safety when you’re pregnant.

Source: NHTSA

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.

Source: NHTSA

Make the Life Saving Choice Buckle Up, Arkansas!

Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office