NHTSA Reports Seatbelt Use Lower at Night

NHS1-25618 Parents of Teens.inddCan someone explain this to us?  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says seatbelt usage is at an all-time high but not at night.  What?  Why?  The government agency released the information as part of an announcement regarding its 2013 “Click It or Ticket” campaign designed to remind drivers to buckle up (scroll down to read the entire press release).  While the campaign highlights Memorial Day weekend travel, the fact is seatbelts save lives all year long.  According to the NHTSA, we’re doing pretty well in terms of using those belts:  IN 2012 86% of us did the right thing… during the day, at least.  That number dropped at night… At night, when visibility drops and the odds of being involved in a wreck are greater.  We at Butler Auto Group don’t understand it but we do know how to change it.  Buckle up.  It’s that easy.

NHTSA Press Release:

Seat Belt Use at Record High, But Not at Night

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today launched the U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2013 “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement mobilization effort and reminded motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that while nationwide seat belt use was at a record high of 86 percent in 2012, seat belt use at night continues to be lower than during the day.

“We’ve made great strides in getting people to buckle up since the first seat belt campaign was launched in 1985, but we still have work to do,” said Secretary LaHood. “The ‘Click it or Ticket’ program builds on those earlier efforts – sharing the message that seat belts save lives.”

According to NHTSA, the risk of being involved in a serious crash is greater at night than during the day. In 2011, 62 percent of motorists who died in a crash that occurred at night were unrestrained; compared to 43 percent of those who died in a crash during the day. During the Memorial Day weekend, law enforcement will focus on both day and night time drivers for seat belt use.

“Law enforcement officers across the country will be out day and night handing out tickets to unbuckled motorists,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “We hope our ‘Click It or Ticket’ efforts will encourage more motorists to buckle up and make it a lifelong habit.”

According to a NHTSA 2011 telephone survey, most people buckle up when officers begin writing more tickets, and many drivers continue the habit after the enforcement period ends.

Read more about seat belt safety in NHTSA’s latest issue of SAFETY 1N NUM3ERS, a new online monthly newsletter on hot topics in auto safety – including problem identification, people at risk, and recommended practices and solutions to mitigate injury and death on our nation’s roadways.


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