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San Luis Obispo, California

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Susan Devine
Susan Devine
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High Death Rate for Young Drivers Who Don’t Wear Seatbelts

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that sixty-eight percent of drivers and passengers between the ages of 16 and 20 who were killed in car crashes at night in 2006 were not wearing their seatbelts.  The statistics for daytime drivers are not much better: 57 percent of the young motorists who were killed were reported as not wearing seat belts.

Of course, the threat of serious injury or death by not wearing a seatbelt is not limited to teenagers.  For adults up through the age of 44, 60 percent of drivers and passengers were reported as not wearing seatbelts, for adults 55-64, that number declines to 52 percent, and adults older than 64 the number declines to 41 percent. 

Police agencies around the country have embarked on the popular “click it or ticket” campaign to raise awareness.  Anyone caught not wearing a seatbelt will be ticketed and fined.

The news is not all bad, however, as the NHSTA reports that seatbelt use is rising slowly.  Nationwide, 82% of drivers and passengers were wearing their seatbelts in 2007 compared with 81% in 2006.

If you are the driver of a car, insist that your passengers wear their seatbelts.  If there is a passenger under the age of 16 who is not wearing a seatbelt, the driver can be fined up to $340 for the first offense and $870 for the second offense.