New Report From Cdc Finds Californians Among Those Most Likely To Use Seat Belts In U.s.

Posted By Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP || 19-Jan-2011

An article in The Los Angeles Times reports that California is the second state in the country with the highest seat belt use, according to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Californians self-reported a 93.2 percent seat belt use, while Oregonians reported nearly 94 percent. Close behind were residents of Washington state at 92 percent. North Dakota was the state that reported the lowest seat belt use, with only 59.2 percent. The state’s low use of seat belts is attributed to the fact that police are only allowed to issue a ticket for a motorist not wearing a safety belt only if the driver is pulled over for another violation. In contrast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, there is a strict enforcement of safety belt laws, which allow law enforcement officials to pull a vehicle over solely because they noticed an occupant was not wearing a safety belt.

In California, the “Click It or Ticket” campaign began in 2005, and the state’s seat belt use rate has since increased to 96.2 percent in 2010 from 92.5 percent in 2005. Approximately 1.25 million more occupants have started to wear their seat belt as a result of the campaign. Additionally, a seat belt violation in the state costs $142 for an adult, and up to $445 for a child under age 16 not properly restrained.

The CDC reports that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in the U.S. among people ages five to 34-years-old, but that the use of safety belts has reduced injuries significantly. Between 2001 and 2009, the injury rate among occupants in motor vehicles dropped about 16 percent. During the same time period, self-reported seat belt use increased from 81 percent to 85 percent.

Using a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injuries from traffic accidents by approximately 45 percent, notes the CDC. Yet on average, about one in seven adults does not wear a seat belt. The CDC believes that if all states in the U.S. had more strict laws regarding seat belt enforcement, about 450 lives could have been saved in 2009, and around 12,000 injuries prevented.

The Santa Cruz personal injury attorneys at Van Der Walde & Associates remind you and your family that you should always wear your seat belt. Doing so could save your life or prevent you from sustaining a serious personal injury.

If you have been involved in a car crash in Santa Cruz, you may wish to consult with a Santa Cruz car accident attorney who can help you understand the legal options available to you. At Van Der Walde & Associates, our lawyers offer free consultations to anyone who has been injured in a car accident in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation by calling (800) 900-0863.

Categories: Auto Accident
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