Seat Belt Facts
Only 76 percent of Missourians wear their seat belt, well below the national average of 85 percent.
Since 2004 Missouri’s seat belt usage rate has fluctuated only slightly between 75 and 77 percent.
Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for people 15 to 20 years old.
Based on observational surveys, only 66 percent of Missouri teens wear their seat belt, and those driving vans and sport utility vehicles buckled up most often – 84 percent of the time.
Three out of four teens killed in traffic crashes are not wearing a seat belt.
Only 64.4 percent of pickup truck drivers wear seat belts.
Leading causes of crash include speeding, drinking and inattention. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.
Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them.
There are 31 states that have primary seat belt laws; all other states have secondary laws except for New Hampshire, which has no adult seat belt law.
As of 1/25/2011, 821 people were killed on Missouri roads in 2010. 613 were vehicle occupants, 68.4 percent of them were unbuckled.
Nationwide, seat belts save over 13,000 lives every year.
Seat belts can reduce the risk of death for front seat occupants of passenger cars by 45 percent. Similarly, belt use reduces the risk of serious non-fatal injuries by 50 percent for front seat occupants.
In 2009, Missouri had a total of 152,995 traffic crashes. The economic loss associated with these traffic crashes is estimated to be $3,318,707,000.
A driver of an automobile, van, motor home, or truck involved in a 2009 Missouri traffic crash had a 1 in 2 chance of being injured if they were not wearing their seat belt. However, if they were wearing a seat belt, their chance of being injured was 1 in 8. When examining driver deaths, the difference is much more dramatic. A driver involved in a 2009 Missouri traffic crash had a 1 in 30 chance of being killed if they were not wearing a seat belt. In those cases where the driver wore a seat belt their chance of being killed was 1 in 1,336.
Of those drivers totally ejected from their vehicle, 96.9 percent were not wearing their seat belts. Of those partially ejected, 54.8 percent were not wearing seat belts. Of those not ejected, 95.8% were wearing seat belts.
Overall, since 2005, Missouri traffic deaths have decreased 35 percent.
Information taken from MoDOT Highway Safety seat belt use surveys, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration publications, and the 2009 Missouri Traffic Compendium published by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
*This number may increase slightly until all fatality reports are finalized, generally around February 2011.
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