Did you know that the use of car seat belts wasn’t mandatory until 1984? Even today, in 15 of the 50 U.S. states, not wearing a seat belt isn’t a violation. However, the 1968 Motor Vehicle Safety Standard was the first regulatory compliance that made it mandatory for car manufacturers to provide seat belts for all vehicles. In other words, car manufacturers have to offer seat belts, but drivers don’t always have to use them.
It is estimated that the use of seat belts saved 255,000 lives in the U.S. between 1975 and 2008. At the same time, 2,500 more lives would have been saved in 2016 if everyone had buckled up. This shows why regulatory compliance is important: It protects us, sometimes from ourselves. These statistics also illustrate one of the most critical challenges of compliance: enforcement. Laws and regulations aren’t beneficial unless