Take a Second: Buckle Up!

To keep ourselves and our kid’s safe in vehicles, we need to make sure we are always buckled up. Fastening a safety belt in a vehicle only takes a second and can save a life.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 52 percent of the 21,253 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed in motor vehicle crashes nation wide, in 2011, were not wearing their seat belt.

Michigan State University Extension highly recommends motorists buckle up every time they go out, both day or night.  Law enforcement agencies across the country are prepared to ticket anyone not buckled up; seat belt tickets cost $65 in Michigan.

Young motorists are at risk the most of any other age group.  Teens have the lowest safety belt use rate of all drivers, and the rate becomes even worse when other teens are passengers in the vehicle.

To address the need to reach more teens, the Michigan 4-H Youth Program developed the Michigan 4-H Safety Belt Program Toolkit to be used across Michigan to help educate youth about the importance of wearing seat belts.

This toolkit contains hands-on activities for youth ages 8 to 19.   This toolkit also includes videos, brochures, posters and other information that can be shared with the community and the public.

An example of an activity included in the toolkit includes having younger children make seat belt covers.  Youth use a square piece of felt and some Velcro dots.  Fold the felt and use the Velcro to connect the sides of the square.  They can then decorate the seat belt cover with fun stickers or foam art. The cover can be use in their vehicle so the seat belt won’t rub on their neck.

Many MSU Extension offices and  4-H Programs in Michigan have some of these toolkits stocked and ready to use.  To find out more information about the Michigan 4-H Youth Program, visit your local MSU Extension office.

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