Seat belts are an essential component in automotive safety measures. In many jurisdictions, the use of seat belts along with air bags and the use of car seats for children under a certain age and size is mandatory. When it comes to preventing fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States reports that seat belt usage saved the lives of 12,713 people who were among those involved in about 5.5 million crashes in 2009. It is estimated that seat belts can reduce injuries and minimize fatalities by as much as 50 percent, even if other safety features, such as air bags, are not installed.
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