Seat Belt Use in U.S. Has Reached Highest Level Since 1994

Posted on behalf of The Nye Law Group on Dec 01, 2016 in Car Accidents

using seat beltAccording to a new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use has reached its highest level since the federal government started surveying it in 1994.

Researchers conducted a large-scale observational study in June and found 90.1 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers wore seat belts between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. This is a significant increase compared to 2015, when researchers found 88.5 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers wore their seat belts during daylight hours.

Researchers also discovered:

  • The percentage of van and SUV occupants who wore seat belts increased from 90.3 percent in 2015 to 92.3 percent in 2016.
  • Seat belt use was more prevalent in states where law enforcement can pull people over for not wearing seat belts compared to states with weaker laws or no seat belt laws at all.
  • The percentage of rural drivers using seat belts increased from 86.8 percent in 2015 to 89.5 percent in 2016.
  • Seat belt use was highest in the West and South at 93.4 percent and 90.9 percent respectively.
  • Seat belt use was least prevalent in the Midwest at 85.5 percent.  
  • Since 2000, the percentage of unrestrained vehicle occupants killed in daytime crashes has decreased from 51.6 percent to 40.3 percent.

The study is known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey and is the only survey with national probability-based observed data on seat belt use.

The NHTSA credits tougher seat belt laws and enforcement of those laws for the increase in seat belt use.

Federal data shows seat belts saved 14,000 lives in 2015 and 345,000 lives since 1975. Even though vehicles have more safety features than ever, the seat belt is still the most important, says NHTSA administrator Mark Rosekind.

While buckling up could save your life in an accident, it might not prevent you from suffering severe injuries. If that happens, contact our car accident personal injury lawyers for a free legal consultation. We may be able to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for medical bills and other damages.

Live chat with a representative or call us at 855-856-4212.

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We are committed to fighting for justice and compensation for injury victims who have suffered because of another’s negligence in auto accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home abuse and many other situations.

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