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A seatbelt: The car's original safety technology

At some point in their lives, it is quite possible that teens today will at least have the option of purchasing a self-driving car. Even now, automatic braking systems, side-impact airbags, rear-view cameras and other safety technology continues to reduce the risk inherent in driving.

Yet until cars drive themselves, the oldest, and perhaps greatest, safety technology in modern vehicles remains the seatbelt. Over its decades of its use, seatbelts have repeatedly been shown to reduce the risk of fatality and serious injury in a car crash.

Teens are less likely to wear a seatbelt

Unfortunately, many teens fail to use seatbelts. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, approximately 80 percent of teens buckle up. This percentage is significantly less than other population groups. This percentage has remained notoriously difficult to budge, despite repeated attempts by safety groups, the NHTSA, and schools to encourage seatbelt use.

The vast majority of teens do wear seatbelts. But one in five teens failing to buckle up is a risk to great to ignore. In 55 percent of fatal accidents, teens aged 13-20 were not wearing a seatbelt.

Why are teens less likely to wear a seatbelt? According a 2013 study by The Children's Hospital Of Philadelphia, teens who did not use a seatbelt listed comfort, forgetfulness and feeling "cool" as reasons to not wear a seatbelt.

Talk to your teens about wearing a seatbelt

Nothing is more tragic than a serious accident involving a young person. That is why we urge parents to discuss seatbelt use with their teens. You cannot always prevent another driver from hitting you. As a personal injury law firm, we see all too often that even if you are driving defensively, a drunk, distracted or drowsy driver can hit you, and often without warning. A seatbelt does not always prevent injury, but it improves the chances of walking away from the accident.

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