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Federal Study Shows Seatbelt Use at Record Highs

Monday, November 19, 2012

A new study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has good news just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. The study finds that seatbelt use across the country is at record highs.

According to the survey, about 86% of all the motorists in the country are currently buckling up. That means a majority of Americans now choose to buckle up before they begin driving. In 2011, seatbelt use across the country had been recorded at 84%.

The results of the survey came from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s annual National Occupant Protection User Survey. According to this study, seatbelt use across the country has increased steadily since 1994.

No Burbank car accident lawyer would be surprised to find that seatbelt use is much higher in those states that have made seatbelt use a primary enforcement office. This means that police officers can pull motorists over simply for not wearing a seatbelt, and do not have to pull them for some other offense first.

California has some of the highest seatbelt usage rates across the country, and the state’s primary enforcement seat belt laws have had a lot to do with this. The benefits of primary enforcement can be seen in the fact that in 1992, when California had a secondary enforcement law, seatbelt usage rates were at 70%. Those rates increased to 83% a year later, when the state moved from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement laws.

Further, California is one of the few states in the country that has all-occupant seatbelt laws that require all occupants of the car, including rear seat passengers, to buckle up. This has increased seat belt usage rates, and has reduced the number of people being killed in accidents.


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