It’s an ongoing fight with your teen. They don’t want to buckle up, and it’s giving you gray hairs. What can you do about it? First, it helps to know their arguments. Then, know the statistics and give your own argument in favor of seat belt use.

Teens may refuse to buckle up because they think:

I’m Invincible

They Say:

OK, so they might not actually use the word “invincible,” but your teen might suggest that death is for old people and that he or she is too smart to wind up in an accident on the Beltway.

You Say:

“Even if you’re a smart driver, too many teens die as passengers in cars where their friends are speeding or driving drunk and unbuckled. Wearing a seat belt makes you 75 percent less likely to die in an accident, and I like those odds better than a gamble with death.”

It’s Lame

They Say:

“My friends don’t use seat belts, so why should I? The cool kids don’t do it, and I have to get in the right crowd or the rest of my high school career and my life will be ruined!”

You Say:

“You can be the one to start a new trend. Be brave—be smart. Your decision to be yourself may earn their respect more than you know. If not, your life is still more important than fitting in with the right crowd.” It might help to add that most—90 percent—of drivers in Maryland actually do use seat belts.

Of course the best way you can convince your teen of the importance of using a seat belt is to follow your own advice and buckle up yourself. Leading by example will say more than your words ever could.

Have another common excuse teens—or adults—give for not wearing seat belts? Let us know in the comments section below.


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