State has highest seat belt use in the nation | Traffic brief

There is yet another sign that Washington drivers are doing the right thing. A newly released federal report shows that Washington state had the highest seat belt use rate in the nation in 2011 at 97.5 percent. This marks the seventh consecutive year that Washington’s seat belt use rate has been above 95 percent.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report and table comparing seat belt use rates for all states and territories. The national average in 2011 was 84 percent.

Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, was pleased. “News like this makes me proud to be living in Washington,” he said.

The Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center estimates that wearing lap-and-shoulder restraints reduces a vehicle passenger’s risk of dying in a crash by 61 percent.


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