I Wear My Seatbelt

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The seat belt has had a long road from its creation to its use in the United States today. While a number of harnesses and safety belts existed in the early 1900s—primarily used for airplanes—the first car seat belt was offered in American cars in 1949; it was an engineer for Volvo in 1958 that created the three point seat buckle system still used today. Seat belts became required in every newly made car by 1968. It was at that time that a campaign to encourage seat belt use began, which included the well-known "Buckle Up For Safety" jingle created by the National Safety Council. There was public pushback on the requirement and use of seat belts, and many viewed it as government interference. But, as death tolls from car accidents increased, the first law enforcing seat belt usage passed in New York in 1984, with many states creating their own seat belt laws in the following years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in the year 2023 seat belt usage was as high as 91.9% amongst Americans, down from 92% the previous year.  


Encyclopædia Britannica. (n.d.). Vehicular safety devices. Britannica Library. https://library-eb-com.resources.skokielibrary.info/levels/referencecenter/article/vehicular-safety-devices/74956

NatlSafetyCouncil. (2016, July 15). Buckle up for safety | National Safety Council. Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WYWOc4L9_0

NHTSA - A Drive Through Time. (n.d.). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://one.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/timeline/index.html

Nichols, J. L., Tippetts, S., Fell, J. C., Auld-Owens, A., Wiliszowski, C. H., Haseltine, P. W., & Eichelberger, A. (2010). Strategies to Increase Seat Belt Use: An Analysis of Levels of Fines And the Type of Law (DOT HS 811 413). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/811413.pdf

Roos, D. (2020, August 31). When New Seat Belt Laws Drew Fire as a Violation of Personal Freedom. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/news/seat-belt-laws-resistance

Vehicular safety devices. (n.d.). Britannica Library. https://library-eb-com.resources.skokielibrary.info/levels/referencecen…

Catalog ID IB0832