NHTSA: Safety belt use remained steady in 2013

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Washington – The rate of safety belt use for passenger vehicle occupants in 2013 was 87 percent – statistically unchanged from 86 percent in 2012, according to a recent study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The study is based on results from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, in which nearly 92,000 passenger vehicle occupants were observed between June 3 and June 13. Among other findings, occupants in vans and SUVs in 2013 had rates of safety belt use at 90 percent, compared with 88 percent for passenger cars and 78 percent for pickup trucks.

Safety belt use remained higher in states with primary enforcement laws (91 percent) than states with secondary enforcement laws or no safety belt laws (80 percent). Primary enforcement allows officers to pull over and ticket a motorist for not wearing a safety belt; secondary laws require the motorist to first be pulled over for another violation.