Today’s motor vehicles are safer than ever before, but only if you take advantage of the many safety features that are available to you.

For example, wearing a seat belt is one of the best things you can do. It doesn’t matter if you’re the driver or a passenger, you should always buckle up before the vehicle is in motion.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the seat belt use rate in 2019 in the United States was 90.7%. While that’s high, it still means that one out of every 10 people aren’t wearing a seat belt.

While it’s easy enough to strap on a seat belt and hope for the best, there are tips you can follow to give yourself the best chance of survival in an accident. Here are three points of advice:

  • Wear the shoulder belt over your collarbone: Many people make the mistake of putting this part of the seat belt under their arm. Doing so doesn’t provide as much restraint in the event of an accident. Place it over your collarbone, but away from your neck.
  • Wear the lap belt across your hips: It’s easy for this part of the seat belt to creep up, eventually going across your stomach or even higher. Don’t let this happen. Make sure you pull it down to your hips.
  • Help your passengers: For example, if you’re driving in a car with young children or the elderly, double check their seat belts before you hit the road. Children, in particular, don’t always buckle up in the appropriate manner.

Thanks to seat belts and air bags, modern motor vehicles are designed to provide the maximum amount of protection in an accident.

The thing you need to remember is that your seat belt can only do its job when used in the proper manner. Improper use can actually cause more harm than good.

Even if you’re wearing a seat belt, you could still suffer an injury in an accident. Should that happen, move to safety and call 911 for help. Down the line, you’ll have time to file an insurance claim and take action against the negligent party.