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Seat Belt Sweep in Broome County Saves Lives

Published March 26, 2013 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Thousands of drivers in New York are injured and killed each year because they don’t buckle their seat belts.

Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Broome County sheriff’s office recently brought that message home in a “Buckle Up New York” sweep of the Town of Union. In the space of six hours, officers issued 48 traffic tickets to drivers for not buckling up and for other vehicle and traffic violations, according to Click It or Ticket!.

The results: 12 seatbelt tickets, 16 cell phone tickets, one texting-while-driving ticket, five tickets for failure to stop at a red light, one ticket for passing a stopped school bus, and one ticket for driving with a suspended license.

The good news is that seat belt compliance – in New York State and nationwide – is increasing.

In 2009, seat belt use was 88 percent nationally, compared with 69 percent in 1998. The NHTSA estimates that more than 1,600 lives will be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if the usage rate reaches 90 percent nationally.

Studies show that seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury.

7 Seat Belt Safety Facts

  1. Seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008.
  2. Forty-two percent of passengers killed in 2007 were unbelted.
  3. Adults ages 18-34 are less likely to wear seat belts than adults 35 or older.
  4. Men are 10 percent less likely to wear seat belts than women.
  5. Adults who live in rural areas are 10 percent less likely to wear seat belts than adults in urban and suburban areas.
  6. Seat belt use is lower in states with secondary enforcement seat belt laws or no seat belt laws (79 percent) compared to states with primary enforcement laws (88 percent).
  7. Air bags provide added protection but are not a substitute for seat belts. Air bags plus seat belts provide the greatest protection for adults.

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