A recent study by the CDC shows that almost 6 out of 7 Americans regularly buckle up when in a car. Of course, that is just a national figure and state figures vary between a low of 59% (Dakota) and a high of 94% (Oregon). Despite the promising figures provided by the study, every 14 seconds an adult in the US is brought into an ER for crash-related injuries.
“A simple step that most drivers and passengers in the United States already take-buckling their seat belts-cuts in half the chance of being seriously injured or killed in a crash,” said CDC Director Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. “Yet, about 1 in 7 adults do not wear a seat belt on every trip. If everyone in the vehicle buckled up every time, we could further reduce one of the leading causes of death.”
The study also shows, not surprisingly, that residents of those states with primary seat belt enforcement laws (where a motorist can be pulled over for being unbelted), were much more likely to buckle up than residents of states where seat belt enforcement laws are secondary (where a motorist can’t be pulled over for being unbelted, but can receive a ticket for it when pulled over for something else).
“As seatbelt use increases and more states pass primary enforcement laws, we are seeing crash-related injuries decline,” said Linda Degutis, Dr. PH, MSN, director of CDC’s Injury Center. “This indicates that primary enforcement laws, paired with vigorous enforcement programs, get more people to wear seat belts. We know that buckling up can make a life-saving difference.”
– By: Stephen Calogera