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Seat belt use rate among Michigan drivers lowest in 17 years, study shows

Driving a Car
Posted at 9:35 AM, Jul 20, 2021

(WXYZ) — Less Michiganders are buckling up on the road, according to the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

The office says the seat belt use rate in the state has dropped from 94.4 percent in 2019 to 92.6 percent in 2021. That is reportedly the lowest compliance rate since 2004.

“The seat belt use numbers are moving in the wrong direction, and it’s important to turn things around as quickly as possible,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, in a press release. “Seat belts are the cornerstone of any effective traffic safety strategy. We must continually remind drivers and passengers of all ages to buckle up, every trip, every time.”

The new information was discovered during a Michigan State University study, according to the Office of Highway Safety Planning.

The office also says that the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center confirmed that traffic deaths peaked above 1,000 in 2020 for the first time in three years.

OHSP notes that “every 1 percent increase in seat belt use means an estimated 10 fewer traffic deaths and 100 fewer serious injuries.”

The office says they are funding a statewide campaign through July 24 to help encourage people to buckle up.