car safety

Seat Belt Usage On the Rise in Missouri

Oct 5, 2016

A recent survey shows that more Missouri drivers are wearing their seat belts, but deadly crashes have also increased.

Based on Missouri driver and passenger data, seat belt use is up 1.5 percent from last year to 81.4 percent. The national average of seat belt users was 86.7 percent in 2015. As of Sept. 29, more than 660 people were killed in traffic crashes, which is an 8 percent increase compared to this time last year. 

Bill Whitfield, director of the Office of Highway Safety, said the increase in crashes has a lot to do with the economy.

National, state car seat recommendations differ

Jul 29, 2013
treehouse1977 / Flickr

Missouri law requires kids to be in rear-facing car seats at least until the age of one.  But the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children stay rear-facing until age two.   "Because pediatric patients, their neck muscles are not strong enough to withstand forces on an impact when they're forward facing until they're at least two-years-old," Lana Martin, a trauma nurse clinician at CoxHealth in Springfield, said. Under Missouri law, kids less than four-years-old or less than 40 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety seat.