Survey: Seat belt use on the rise

SMYRNA Ga. – An estimated 84 percent of people nationwide wear seat belts, according to the latest National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).

That’s an increase from 83 percent in 2008. According to a report on the Web site of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), NOPUS is “the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States.”

Officials say seat belt use has been on the rise since 1994. At the same time, it’s no coincidence that there has been a “steady decline” in the number of daytime deaths attributed to people not wearing seat belts, according to the NHTSA.

According to the 2009 results:

  • Seat belt use for occupants traveling during weekends increased to 86 percent in 2009 from 83 percent in 2008, which, officials say, is a “significant annual increase”
  • More people wear seat belts in states where they can be pulled over “solely for not using seat belts” as opposed to states where that is not the case

NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis conducts the NOPUS annually.

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