Washington Moms Encourage Young Drivers to Buckle Up

May 7, 2021

Olympia –Washington mothers have a word of advice for the state’s young drivers:  buckle up!

“With Mother’s Day coming up, what better way for younger drivers to honor their moms than by wearing their seat belts to keep themselves safe?” said Jerry Noviello, WTSC program manager. “That’s the message many Washington mothers are sharing on social media. In video messages, Washington moms are making it clear to their kids:  buckle up!”

Statewide, 93% of Washingtonians wear their seat belts, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission’s (WTSC) 2020 report, Seat Belt Use in Washington State.

“While most of us in Washington buckle up, we are concerned about young drivers,” said Noviello, “Drivers age 16 to 25 have the lowest seat belt use rate of all ages of drivers killed in fatal crashes.  Wearing a seat belt nearly doubles your chances of surviving a crash.”

Research suggests that teens do listen to parents (and those in a parenting role) who are involved in their driver training.  A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics shows that parental involvement leads to safer driving habits, with teens 50% less likely to crash and 50% more likely to buckle up, than teens who perceive their parents as uninvolved.

One social media video was shared by Emily, a mother from Blaine, with a message for her children.  “This Mother’s Day, you know I like chocolate, especially dark chocolate.  But more important to me is that you guys are safe. So this Mother’s Day, please wear your seat belt, and don’t text.  And remember…that’s dark chocolate.”

“Reminding teen or young drivers in your family to wear their seat belts may get you an eye roll,” said Noviello, “but it’s worth it if it gets them to drive safer.  With too many young people losing their lives because they aren’t wearing seat belts, moms, dads, aunts and uncles can all set the example, offer reminders and set expectations that everyone in the family buckles up, every time.  If we all work together, we can encourage the few that are still not wearing a seat belt to join everyone else and save lives on our roads.”