The Proper Ways to Wear Your Seat Belt & Enhance Road Safety

There has been a significant decline in the number of deaths caused by car accidents in the US since the 1960s. This is mainly because of the implementation of seat belts and other safety devices. Still, over 32,000 people die each year, and half of those deaths could have been prevented easily with the proper use of a seat belt. 

That is why you and your passengers must wear their seat belt at all times. The proper use of seat belts will keep you safer and more secure on the road. 

Here are ways to wear your seat belt properly: 

Wear a Shoulder Harness Properly

Wearing the shoulder harness properly is crucial. Here is a quick step-by-step guide to ensure you’re wearing it over your shoulder correctly: 

  1. Position yourself properly: Have your back against the seat and your hips all the way back in the seat. You must sit upright; otherwise, you could get more slack in the belt, which can cause serious injuries in case of an accident. 
  2. Pull the shoulder strap across the body: Use the hand closest to the seat belt to reach up by your shoulder and grasp the belt at the metal latch. Pull it across your body towards your hip on the opposite side as the arm you use. Make sure the seat belt webbing isn’t twisted. 
  3. Find the seat belt buckle with your other hand: Grasp the buckle and ensure the slotted top end is pointed upwards with the release button on the side away from you. In the event of a crash or for an easy release, make sure the seat belt buckle button is on the outside part of the belt buckle. 
  4. Insert the seat belt: Line up the seat belt latch on the belt webbing with the slot on the top of the buckle and insert it fully. You should hear a click when the buckle fully engages and locks onto the latch. 
  5. Ensure you are secured: To ensure you’re fully secured, pull on the seat belt at the buckle. 
  6. Adjust the shoulder belt: You can adjust the seat belt every time to make sure it fits you well. The shoulder belt must be across the body at your collarbone. 
  7. Tighten the belt at the hips: The lap portion of the belt must be low on your hips and fit snugly. 

Wear a Lap Belt Properly

If you only have a lap belt, which is usually for individuals who sit at the back and in the middle of the seat, there is a proper way to wear it.

You need to sit upright and ensure your hips are back in the seat. Lay the lap belt across the hips and insert the belt in the buckle. You can always adjust the lap belt snugly, so it fits your waist well. 


Knowing how to wear your seat belt properly can help reduce your risk on the road. Seat belts continue to save lives, which is why it’s crucial you know how to wear them properly; otherwise, you or your passengers could get in more trouble in the event of a crash. 

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