Across the state of South Carolina, more people are buckling up than ever before. In fact, according to the findings of a study recently conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina, 93.9 percent of passenger vehicle drivers (and occupants) are wearing seatbelts every time they travel.
This is a record high for seatbelt usage in the state, and it reflects a more than 2 percent increase from seatbelt use last year, when about 91.6 percent of passenger vehicle occupants were reportedly buckling up.
This promising trend – and record high – is now being lauded by transportation safety officials at the SC Department of Public Safety (SCDPS), as wearing seatbelts can prevent injuries and save lives when traffic accidents occur.
A Closer Look at the Findings
In analyzing seatbelt use trends for 2016, researchers surveyed motorists and vehicle occupants in 16 different counties across the state. The survey specifically asked about usage of “shoulder-style safety belts.” After carefully reviewing the survey results, researchers reportedly discovered that:
- Females are more likely than males to be buckling up, with seatbelt usage rates for each gender being about 95.5 percent and 92.5 percent (respectively).
- When compared to the occupants of trucks, the occupants of passenger vehicles are far more likely to be buckling up (with usage rates being about 90.4 percent and 94.5 percent, respectively).
- Public education campaigns, coupled with enhanced enforcement of seatbelt laws, have been pivotal in promoting greater compliance and getting more people to buckle up.
Commenting on these findings, SCDPS Director Leroy Smith has stated:
Safety belt usage is a critically important factor in whether a motorist survives a serious crash… Our goal is Target Zero traffic deaths, and getting there involves everyone pulling together. This latest statistic shows that motorists are complying with the law and following the best practice to keep themselves safe on the roads.
The Facts about Seatbelts: How Effective Seatbelts Are
To shed some more light on just how remarkable (and important) it is that more South Carolinians are wearing their seatbelts, check out these facts1 about seatbelt effectiveness:
- Wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of injuries, including fatal injuries, by up to 50 percent when auto accidents occur.
- About half of the people killed in fatal car accidents in 20142 were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.
- Seatbelts saved at least 12,800 lives last year, and more than 10,000 additional lives could have been saved if people had been buckled up at the time of their crash.
- Seatbelts tend to be most effective at protecting vehicle occupants when coupled with airbags.
What do you think about the record high for seatbelt usage in South Carolina? Do you buckle up every time you drive or ride? Share your opinions and experiences with us on Facebook & Google+.
Contact a Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer at Chappell, Chappell and Newman Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a car crash or in any type of traffic collision, contact a Columbia SC personal injury attorney at Chappell, Chappell and Newman for clear answers about your rights, your potential case, and your best options for recovery. For nearly three decades, our lawyers have been committed to protecting the rights of injured people and helping them financially recover so they can reclaim their lives and focus on their future.
Call our firm or contact us online to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.
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1: According to authorities at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
2: The most recent year for which complete data is currently available