Seat belts have the ability to better protect vehicle occupants from fatal accidents than anything else. In 2003, the use of seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives nationwide, but even more lives could have been saved had occupants been properly restrained in seat belts during a crash. Nearly 21,000 lives, or an additional 6,000 lives, could have been saved had seat belt failure or improper use not been present, or if the seat belts were used at all.
The benefits seat belts provide the nation are not just fewer fatalities, but also economical. Every year, seat belts save society approximately $50 billion in medical care, lost productivity and other injury related costs nationwide. If there is a seat belt failure, the costs can be tremendous, taking the lives and livelihood of many unknowing occupants.