Seat belt surveys underway, trouble spots concerning

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) – The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NCGHSP) is working with researchers this month to determine the statewide official seat belt use rate.

“Researchers will be observing several areas, primarily our larger metropolitan: Mecklenburg County which has experienced a sharp decline of nearly eight percent,” said Mark Ezzell, NCGHSP Director.

Researchers with N.C. State’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education will be conducting roadside surveys now through the end of the month across 120 randomly selected sites; observing belted and unbelted drivers and passengers.

Fast facts:

  • If you’re ejected from a vehicle in a crash, odds are that you will not survive. In 2018, 84% of the people totally ejected from passenger vehicles in crashes were killed.
  • Wearing your seat belt is the most effective way to prevent ejection; only 1% of passenger vehicle occupants wearing seat belts were ejected in fatal crashes, compared to 33% of those who were unrestrained.
  • Previous studies indicate that women buckle up more than men and people between the ages of 45 and 64 lead the way in seat belt usage.
  • Males are more likely than females to be unrestrained in fatal crashes.
  • Younger people continue to be overrepresented in fatal crashes and seat belt nonuse. In North Carolina those between the ages of 16 and 24 are most at risk.

Of the 100 counties around the state, 15 have the most unstable rates:

  • Mecklenburg
  • Pender
  • Robeson
  • Sampson
  • Columbus
  • Alamance
  • Buncombe
  • Catawba
  • Cleveland
  • Durham
  • Forsyth
  • Guilford
  • Nash
  • Wake
  • Wilkes

If the seat belt has saved your life post your story on social media with a picture and tag @NCGHSP on Facebook or @NC_GHSP on Twitter and Instagram for recognition.

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