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Seat Belts

Five Challenges to Getting Tweens to Wear - and Stay In - Their Seat Belts

1. Non-Compliant Drivers

When parents and caregivers fail to buckle up, children are far less likely to wear their seat belts.

2. Distraction

Kids who are focused on electronic devices, eating, reading or doing other things after getting into a car are preoccupied with something other than seat belt safety. Habits can easily be forgotten or neglected when kids are focused on something else.

3. Discomfort

Sometimes kids will put their seat belts behind their backs or under their arms, complaining that the seat belt is uncomfortable. This could be because they’ve been prematurely moved from a booster to a seat belt and the belt doesn’t fit properly. Make sure your child is correctly fitted in his/her seat belt and consider the possibility that your child may still need to use a booster. Find out when your child is ready for a seat belt.

4. Short Trips and Slower Speeds

Kids will sometimes refuse to wear seat belts when they associate short trips or slower speeds with a reduced risk to their safety—a common misconception. Routine trips can be deceptively dangerous. In fact, most fatal crashes happen within 25 miles of home and at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour.

5. Nighttime

Nighttime gives children a sense of anonymity in the back seat; after all, it’s harder for drivers to see whether their children are buckled up. On long trips, especially, kids may unbuckle their seat belts or put them behind their backs if they want to sleep.