News Release, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
GLEN BURNIE, MD (August 6, 2020) – After declining in recent months during Maryland’s COVID-19 State of Emergency, motor vehicle traffic volumes continue to rise toward pre-pandemic levels. As travelers return to the roads, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office is reminding motorists their first line of defense against injury in a crash is buckling up – every seat, every ride. Increased enforcement for seat belt violations is currently underway across the state.
“Research shows wearing a seat belt can significantly reduce your risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Being buckled keeps you safe and secure inside a vehicle – being ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly. It is critical that drivers and riders buckle up, every seat, every ride to ensure everyone in the vehicle arrives safely.”
In a new educational video, MDOT MVA’s newly redesigned rollover simulator demonstrates the drastic difference a properly buckled seat belt can make in a rollover crash. The video shows three scenarios using a crash test dummy to represent a driver: properly buckled, improperly buckled (with the seat belt underneath the arm), and unbuckled.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a driver is nearly 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle when unbuckled. Occupants who are ejected from the vehicle are more than 90 times more likely to be killed. In 2018, 105 motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes on Maryland roads were not wearing seat belts. Additionally, drivers and passengers who are improperly buckled run the risk of being partially ejected from a vehicle, which can lead to loss of limbs or other serious injuries.
While the video demonstrates the potential outcome for the driver, the result of each scenario is attributable to every seat in a vehicle or truck. Unbuckled occupants can become projectiles during a crash, causing serious injury or death to themselves and other occupants. Seat belt use is also the law in Maryland; for any passengers older than 16 are not wearing a seat belt, the driver can receive an $83 ticket for each offense.
For more information on the rollover simulator – or to request this educational resource for a community event — please visit ZeroDeathsMD.gov or contact the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office’s Occupant Protection Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the MDOT MVA’s Highway Safety Office at ZeroDeathsMD.gov or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.