You are here:HomeNews CenterInsurance News2006Reality Check: It's 2006, and 48 Million Americans Don't Use Seat Belts

Reality Check: It's 2006, and 48 Million Americans Don't Use Seat Belts

Despite the highest safety belt-use rate ever recorded in the U.S., 48 million Americans still fail to buckle up regularly, according to a recently released...
May 17, 2006

Despite the highest safety belt-use rate ever recorded in the U.S., 48 million Americans still fail to buckle up regularly, according to a recently released report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The report found the "last of the unbuckled" to be largely young and male, likely to live in rural areas, and/or drive pickup trucks.

The report found that 58 percent of unbelted traffic fatalities occurred along rural roads and that approximately 70 percent of those who died in crashes involving pickup trucks were unbelted. Over 60 percent of the male victims between ages eight and 44 in passenger vehicles were not wearing seat belts, compared with fewer than 40 percent of women in the same age group who were killed.

The release of the report coincides with the national "Click It or Ticket" crackdown on belt law violators, which runs from May 22 through June 4.  The law enforcement effort is supported by more than $31 million in national and state ads that began airing Monday. 

"It's an undisputable fact that safety belts help save lives," said NHTSA Acting Administrator Jacqueline Glassman. "Still, millions of Americans aren't buckling up every time they are in a motor vehicle. The crackdown is about preventing tragedies through awareness, strong laws and highly visible enforcement of those laws. Today's message is simple, for your own sake, click that safety belt or plan on getting a ticket."

Law Enforcement Crackdown on Seat Belts (NHTSA 5/15/06)
 
NHTSA Research Report (PDF file, 5/15/06)

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