One of the first lessons taught to new drivers is a pre-start car routine, which many veteran drivers forget. Before starting the vehicle, you should adjust the mirrors and driving position as well as fasten safety belts. This short, extremely important sequence reduces the risk of injury during a collision by 50 percent and is responsible for saving more than 250,000 lives since 1975 in the U.S. alone. ¹
Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have a mandatory safety belt law; New Hampshire is the only exception. Thirty-two states with seat belt laws having primary enforcement (where police are allowed to stop vehicles to cite drivers and passengers for failure to buckle up) report a 10-15 percent higher usage than secondary enforcement. ²
Car safety starts with the proper use of a safety harness and will mitigate serious injuries during a crash, which can greatly impact how much insurance costs. Follow these steps to protect yourself and your passengers:
- One person per seat and seat belt.
- Position the seat to be upright so your back is against the seat and your feet are on the floor.
- Three-point seat belts require the lap belt to go across your hips and the chest belt across your torso over your shoulder. (If you’re pregnant, be sure to place the belts around your belly.)
- Vehicles equipped with lap belts should be worn snuggly over the hips.
- The safety belt should make a “click” when it is locked into place.
- Belt slack should be as minimal as possible.
- In all states and the District of Columbia, infants and children must be restrained by a car safety seat, booster seat, and in some cases an adult safety belt. Specific requirements for height, weight and age vary from state-to-state.
Mercury Insurance offers discounts for a variety of car safety features.