Experts say the way you wear your seat belt as crucial as decision to buckle up

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SALT LAKE CITY -- It was the deadliest holiday weekend on Utah roads last year, as Independence Day travels took the lives of 10 people.

We hear the message time and time again: Seat belts save lives. But the group Zero Fatalities is stressing that the way you wear your seat belt is key.

“It's all about proper fit; we want to make sure the seat belt is on our hip bones and on our shoulder bones because if in the event in the crash--those are the bones that can handle the pressure,” said Stacy Johnson with the group of Zero Fatalities.

Johnson said there are a lot of classic and deadly mistakes people make while on long drives. One is when the passenger leans back their seat. She said doing so makes the chair into a launching pad.

She also warns against putting the belt behind your back or under your arm. And sitting the right way is key.

“How often do we see the situation where people are putting up their feet on the dash? Now imagine if you were in a crash with your feet on the dash and add an airbag to that situation,” Johnson said.

Last year in Utah, 72 fatalities involved people either not buckling up or wearing the seat belt incorrectly.

“It's horrible because ultimately we have to find where they live, find family, actually sit down with their family, tell them what happened and that their loved one is not coming home; it's not fun, and it's frustrating over such a simple thing,” said Lt. Jeff Nigbur with Utah Highway Patrol.


  • Cindi

    I would love to see car manufacturers make seatbelts that are truly adjustable. I always wear my seatbelt and I always sit properly, even moving my seat all the way back to limit damage should the airbag deploy. However, the seatbelt crosses me by my neck, not my shoulders, because I am 5’3″. I’m sure it’s worse for people even shorter than me. If safety is truly the goal of a seatbelt, can’t they be made to fit everyone properly no matter what height they are? They are not “one size fits all”.

  • MLN

    Hey ANOTHERBOB! The Feds say wearing a seat belt could save your life. I would ignore those liberals if I were you!

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