Roadside Chat - Excuse for not buckling? Bet it's a killer.

1-26 killer excuseIt’s National Passenger Safety Week. If you choose not to wear a seat belt, what’s your excuse? Decades of research show that seat belts save lives. We’ve all heard rumors of someone who was in a crash and was injured “because” of a seat belt. The truth is, data on seat belt use shows that you’re at far greater risk of injury or death if you’re not wearing a seat belt in a crash.

Here are some of the most common excuses for people not buckling up.

  • I’m a careful driver. I don’t need a seat belt.
  • I’m not traveling that far or very fast.
  • Seat belts are too confining and uncomfortable.
  • Seat belts wrinkle my clothes.

Here are the facts,  according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Iowa DOT.

  • In 2021, half of passenger vehicle occupants who died in crashes in the U.S. were unrestrained. In Iowa in 2023, the number was closer to 60 percent.
  • From 1975 through 2017, seat belts have saved an estimated 374,276 lives.

Even with the solid data that seat belts work, the excuses have been the same since the 1970s. Check out this public service announcement from the 1970s.

The idea for this message came from Brian C. from Ames. If you would like to submit a message idea, go to You can type your message in and see how it would look on a sign. By hitting the “submit” button, your idea comes directly to the database we use to develop new messages.

So far in 2024 in Iowa, nine people have been killed in traffic crashes. That’s an increase of five since last Friday. In Iowa in 2023, there were 377 traffic-related deaths. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to the daily fatality report at

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Have a comment?


©  Iowa Department of Transportation.  All rights reserved.