Seat belts are essential safety equipment. For drivers and front-seat passengers, using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60% in an SUV, van or pickup and by 45% in a car.
Although the vast majority of people buckle up, there are still some who refuse or forget. Nearly half of people who die in crashes are not belted.
Belt laws increase belt use, especially with publicized enforcement. Belt use rates are higher in states with primary enforcement laws, which allow police to stop a driver solely for not using a seat belt. In states with secondary enforcement, police can only enforce the belt law if they have pulled over the driver for another violation first.
All vehicles have belt reminders, but many aren’t persistent enough. After finding that good reminders increase belt use, IIHS began rating them in 2022.
More robust auditory and visual belt reminders for drivers and passengers could save hundreds of lives a year.
August 22, 2023
Among the four minivans tested, the 2023 Toyota Sienna is the only vehicle to earn a good rating in the Institute’s seat belt reminder evaluation.
February 2, 2023