WASHINGTON, D.C. — More Americans than ever are wearing their safety belts with usage rates climbing in 34 states this year, according to U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. In 2005, safety belt use ranged from 60.8% in Mississippi to 95.3% in Hawaii. Others breaking the 90% belt use barrier included Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Michigan, California, Puerto Rico and Maryland.
Mississippi registered the lowest safety belt use in the nation followed by Massachusetts, Kentucky, Arkansas, South Dakota and Kansas.
"Safety belts are useless unless people make the effort to wear them," Mineta said. "It's good to see more people taking their safety seriously, but we'll save the celebration for the day when everyone buckles up," he added. At a national seat belt usage rate of 82%, NHTSA estimates that safety belts are preventing 15,700 fatalities, 350,000 serious injuries and $67 billion in economic costs associated with traffic injuries and deaths every year.
Source: NHTSA Press Release