Hitting the open road? Buckle up for safety

Roadtrips are a part of spring and summer, not to mention the many activities that keep us on the road as the school year winds down.

Nationwide, auto accidents are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-54, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Seat belt use does not guarantee an occupant in a motor vehicle will survive a collision, but buckling up dramatically reduces risk of death and serious injury.

The NHTSA notes that among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent and cut the risk of serious injury by half.

The administration also has found people who don’t wear a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be thrown from a vehicle during a crash. More than three out of four people who are ejected during a crash die from their injuries.

Again, a seat belt does not offer certain protection from being killed during a serious crash. But it can improve the odds of surviving by 50 percent.

That’s something to consider if you are among the 1 in 7 people who doesn’t buckle up.