The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says only 6.3 percent of U.S. adults do not wear seat belts most of the time. However, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, unrestrained occupants still account for half of the car crash deaths.
What’s more, gender seems to be a factor in restraint use. The CDC reports that men are twice as likely as women to report not wearing seat belts, with 8.5 compared to 4.2 percent saying they don’t wear restraints while in a car. Men are also more than twice as likely to die in car crashes, based on NHTSA traffic fatality data from 2016-2018. Besides gender, location also seems to be a factor, with an apparent correlation between self-reported refusal to wear seatbelts and fatal vehicle crashes.
Which Areas Are More Prone To Fatal Car Accidents?
The NHTSA’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System provides statistics on restraint use among riders killed in motor vehicle crashes. With the number of commuters in the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates, one gets a dire picture of vehicle crashes’ fatality rates, especially in the Northwest and the Tri-State area.
Indiana, especially Indianapolis, Carmel, and Anderson, has the fifteenth highest share of adults who do not wear seat belts at 6.2 percent. This region also has a significant fatality rate from car crashes; 43.7 percent of unrestrained occupants get killed in accidents. The statistics are similar for Richmond, VA, Milwaukee and surrounds, Louisville, KY, and Jefferson County, IN, with a positive correlation between the fatality rate and the commuter population.
The lack of knowledge of safety protocols contributes to these rates. For example, some people won’t ask why their airbag light is on and keep driving despite it. Also, most people who do not wear seat belts say that they don’t buckle up because they’re only going to a nearby store or are driving through a familiar route. However, accidents can happen anywhere, even in less densely-populated areas.
In states with a car commuter population of greater than 500,000 but fewer than two million, the rates are even higher. On average, seven percent of adults don’t always wear seatbelts in places like Camden, NJ, St. Louis, MO-IL, and Columbus, OH. In these areas, 30 to 50 percent of unrestrained occupants are killed in crashes.
Suburbs like White Plains in Westchester, NY, or medium-sized metropolitan areas like Cambridge-Netwon-Framingham, MA have even more dire statistics. However, the deadliest areas are busy cities like Pittsburgh, PA, Philadelphia, PA, and Boston, MA.
In these areas, 9.8 to 11.6 percent of adults do not always wear seat belts, at least 56.5 percent of unrestrained occupants are killed in car crashes. As a result, from 2016 to 2018, a combined 476 unrestrained occupants died in vehicular accidents in these cities.
From these statistics, there is a clear correlation between vehicle riders’ safety and the wearing of seat belts. Both drivers and passengers benefit from buckling up. According to the NHTSA, vehicle riders who wear seatbelts are at a lower risk of fatal or critical injuries than riders who don’t. Among metropolitan areas like Boston, MA, and Philadelphia, PA, there is a strong positive correlation between the share of adults who do not wear seat belts and unrestrained occupants who die in car crashes. Vehicle owners and commuters alike need constant reminders that the five seconds they would spend buckling up will prevent a lifetime of regret and sadness that a fatal car crash would cause.
No one wants to figure in a car accident. Should you find yourself in one, though, you would need to get an airbag and seat belt replacement. Let Safety Restore help—we provide seatbelt repairs, replacement, and airbag module resets in Westfield, MA. Trust the world’s leader in post-accident restorations with your family’s protection; get in touch today to learn more!