PEMCO Insurance: The importance of wearing a seat belt

SEATTLE - Our state has some of the highest seat belt use in the country. Still, even with mandatory seat belt laws, a few people still skip the belt.

We spoke with the experts at PEMCO Insurance about why it's so important to buckle up.

“Well there’s a lot of science that goes into it,” Research and Marketing Brand Manager Marjorie Hastings said.

“As cars are having increased technology in them that keep us safer, the seat belts are actually working with air bags so the combination of those two really help keep people safer.”

Still, some people choose not to buckle up, either because they think they don't need to or because they're scared to.

Hastings said one of the most common excuses she’s heard is that drivers are worried they won't be able to escape if their car catches on fire or ends up in the water.

“There is a belief that you'll get trapped in the vehicle if there is an accident, but it’s really maybe one percent to a half a percent of people who are trapped in vehicles during an accident, so it is much safer to keep your seat belt on.”

It's important not only to wear your seat belt- but to make sure you're doing it properly.

Experts at PEMCO say to wear it across the hips, not stomach, never tuck shoulder harness under arm, keep the seat upright and use kids` car seats and boosters until they`re outgrown.

Nationwide, seat belts save about 15,000 lives every year.

PEMCO says we could save another 2,500 people if everyone buckled up every time they got in the car.