The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released a Policy Impact report on seat belts stating that while seat belt us is on the rise, still more need to buckle up.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the first three decades of American’s lives. In 2009 alone, crashes killed over 33,000 people and injured another 2.2 million-more than 70 percent of these were in passenger vehicles and trucks. More than half of the people killed in car crashes were not restrained at the time of the crash. Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent death and serious injury in a crash.
In its policy impact report, CDC recommends primary enforcement laws that allow police officers to pull over drivers and issue tickets just because the drivers-or their passengers-aren’t wearing seat belts. Secondary enforcement laws only allow police officers to issue tickets for seat belt violations if drivers have been pulled over for some other offense. Rates of seat belt use are 9 percentage points higher in primary enforcement states than secondary states. CDC also recommends “enhanced enforcement” programs and increased fines for seat belt violations. View the report here.