The United States has a bit of an epidemic on its hands involving vehicular fatalities. The death rate on American roads jumped six percent last year to the highest rate since 2007.
A good place to start fixing that problem is to get everyone to buckle up. That includes passengers in the back seat, but we all know that is a hard sell.
So for your next safety meeting, here is a video that shows what happens when back seat passengers don’t use seat belts. The accident took place in China. Five people were in the car. The two in the front seat had on their seatbelt and were fine. The three in the back seat did not have on belts. Two of them hit the median, but the third was thrown into the path of an oncoming truck. All three survived, but wow!
Seatbelts need to be at the heart of company vehicle policies. Americans have always had a love/hate relationship with seatbelts. It took years of pushing by federal agencies and safety officials to get drivers and front seat passengers to buckle up, but seatbelt usage in the backseat has lagged. Half of the states in the country do not require back seat passengers to buckle up and the Department of Transportation has said that back seat usage is still about 10 percent lower than front seat usage. It is even worse in taxis, where only about one-third of backseat passengers use belts, according of the New York Taxi Commission.
Here’s the bottom line number to share with your employees – According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, passengers not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected during a crash. If that doesn’t work, show them the video again.