Every Trip. Every time.
Using your seatbelt greatly reduces your chance of serious injury in an accident. Many drivers make excuses with themselves about seat belt usage that just don't hold up. When it comes to not wearing your seatbelt, there's just no good excuse.
"I'm a good driver."
Terrific. Can you say the same about everyone else on the road? The odds are pretty good (one in three) that sometime in your driving life you will be in a serious crash, even if you aren't the cause. If another driver suddenly plows into your car, your seat belt can help assure you and your passengers won't go flying through your windshield like human missiles.
"I'm strong enough to brace myself if I suddenly stop."
Do you think you could catch a 300 pound barbell if it were dropped on you from 20 feet? That's the force of an impact at just 30 miles per hour. Nobody is that strong. At 10 miles per hour, you'd still have to be able to catch that 300 pound barbell if it were dropped from two feet. This is assuming that you have seen the crash coming - many impacts occur without a moment's notice.
"I want to be able to escape in a hurry."
Would you rather be forcibly ejected from your car by flying through the windshield? How about being knocked unconscious and not being able to respond if your crash involves fire or water? The chance of serious injury is 25 times greater if you are thrown from your car than if you remain in your seat. Less than ½ of 1% of crashes involve fire or water. With a seat belt on, it is much more likely you will remain conscious and be able to help yourself and others safely escape from the vehicle.
"I just forget sometimes."
Do you forget to put the key in the ignition? Do you forget to close the car door? Wearing a seat belt should be a part of your automatic routine in starting your car. Teach yourself the seat belt habit. Tie a bright string through your car key or around your steering wheel as a reminder for a week or two. Once you get the seat belt habit, you'll have if for life - and your life might be a lot longer because of it.
"I guess I just don't think seat belts really work."
Maybe the problem is that they work too well. Modern shoulder and lap belts are designed to be comfortable. Under normal conditions, they release to let you move freely. But not in a crash. The force of impact immediately locks your belt in place, restraining you and holding you in your seat. While your car is crashing into a hard surface, you are crashing into a fabric belt. Which would you prefer?
"I wear my seat belt when I sit in the front seat, but not in the back."
Do you think crash forces only affect the passengers in the front seats? It is true that the back seat is the safest place to sit. It is not true that seat belts aren't necessary in the back. Crash forces are distributed throughout the vehicle and any object that isn't properly restrained will travel towards the point of impact until acted upon by an equal or greater object. Unfortunately this means that back seat passengers will fly through windows until they impact the ground or travel into the front seat and impact other vehicle occupants.
Remember, seat belts work ... but only if you use them.