Seat Belt Use is on the Rise, NHTSA Reports
September 18, 2009

Seat belt use has hit a record high of 84 percent, according to a new study by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The new study, conducted in June, shows a 1 percentage-point increase in seat belt use to 84 percent within just one year.

The large-scale observational study, known as the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), is conducted annually.

The survey also showed several other key findings:

  • Belt use remains higher in states where drivers can be pulled over solely for not using seat belts;
  • Seat belt use rates in the West are the highest for any region in the nation at 93 percent. By comparison, the Northeast rose 3 percentage points to 82 percent; the Midwest rose 2 percentage points to 81 percent; and the South rose 1 percentage point to 82 percent; and
  • The seat belt use rate among pickup truck occupants remained static at 74 percent. Those riding in passenger cars had a 2 percentage point increase to 86 percent. And people riding in SUVs and vans had the highest level of belt use, at 87 percent, up 1 percentage point.

CLICK HERE for full text of study.

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