Wearing seat belts remains among the best preventative measures for avoiding serious injuries (including fatal injuries) during a vehicle accident. Many aspects of seat belts and their safety benefits are discussed on the “Seat Belts As An Accident Injury Preventative Measure” page.
On May 19, 2017 the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) issued a press release titled “IDOT, Law Enforcement Urge Motorists to ‘Click It or Ticket’ as Summer Travel Season Begins.” (pdf)
Notable excerpts from the press release include:
“Wearing your seat belt is the law, but it’s also a matter of common sense,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Making the right choice to buckle up, every time, no matter where you are seated, substantially increases your chance of survival in the event of a crash. By buckling up and avoiding impaired driving, you can help keep Illinois roads safer for all who are traveling.”
These unified efforts to crack down on unbuckled and impaired drivers come at a time when traffic fatalities are on the rise. Illinois has seen an increase in motor vehicle fatalities over the last two years. According to 2015 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 42 percent of nationwide motor vehicle fatalities involved unbuckled vehicle occupants.
Seat belts are designed to keep you positioned safely in a vehicle. Should a crash occur, a seat belt helps slow down the body, works in conjunction with the air bag and spreads force over a wider area of the body, lessening the likelihood of injury or ejection.
Additional details regarding the safety benefits of seat belts are seen in the sources mentioned above.