Today the CDC released figures showing that Americans are buckling at records rates. In the latest numbers 85% of Americans reported that they always wear a seatbelt when driving or riding in a car. That’s up from 81% in 2002.
The numbers are even better in states that have primary enforcement laws which allow police officers to pull over and ticket drivers for the sole violation of not wearing a seatbelt. A whopping 88% of residents in these states say they always wear a safety belt. Conversely only 79% claimed they always wear a seatbelt in states where a seatbelt violation can only be enforced if the driver is pulled over for another violation first.
I can’t speak for other states but I believe “Click-it or Ticket” campaigns adopted by the state of Texas have been an extremely successful deterrent for those individuals who would otherwise not be concerned with seatbelt laws.
I can certainly say that getting a $200 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt while I was in high school was all the motivation that I needed to change my childish ways.
The CDC also reported that the rate of non-fatal occupant injuries fell by almost 16% from 2001 to 2009. This is great news, and I suspect we will see even better rates in coming years.
Seat-belt use cuts the risk of fatal and serious injuries from a motor-vehicle crash by about 45% and 50% respectively, the report says.