More Below 100: Wear Your Seat Belt

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More Below 100: Wear Your Seat Belt


Gordon Graham
Category: Law Enforcement

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol. And Today’s Tip deals with wearing your seatbelt.

Wearing your seatbelt is a simple step you can take to increase your chances of surviving an accident.

One of the five core officer-safety tenets of Law Officer Magazine’s Below 100’s mission to reduce the number of law enforcement line of duty deaths in the U.S. to less than 100 per year is: Wear your belt! 

We’ve talked about this before and we’ll keep talking about it until every cop wears a seat belt every time he or she gets into their unit.

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration, 86% of people in the U.S. buckle up when behind the wheel or as passengers. However, another NHTSA study involving fatal police crashes, showed that seatbelt use among cops to be much lower than the national average. How low? 42%! That’s less than half of the 86% of the public that do. So what’s happening here?!

I’ll tell you what’s happening: young police officers are coming into our police academies having been raised with the habit of wearing seatbelts anytime they’re in a car. However, once they’re in police work, we’re telling them that safer NOT to wear one. It’s US, folks! It’s their fellow officers, FTOs and even supervisors discouraging seatbelt use!

The same NHTSA study I just mentioned also found that since 1980, more than 150 cops died after begin ejected from their vehicles during a crash. It is pretty clear they weren’t wearing seat belts. I can’t help but wonder how many of them would be alive today if they had been.

Just as the other four Below 100 officer-safety tenets (Wear your vest; Watch your speed; WIN-What’s Important Now and Remember: Complacency Kills!); wearing your seatbelt is a simple step you can take to increase your chances of surviving an accident. Conversely, not wearing your seatbelt may turn an otherwise non-fatal accident into a fatal one. A simple step. Wear your seatbelt. Your family, co-workers, agency and community depend on you to come home safely at the end of EVERY shift.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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