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Seat Belts Save Lives, People Not Wearing Seat Belts Account To 44% Of Highway Deaths

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2018, an estimated 36,560 people died in crashes in the US. In 1985, Texas, along with other states, declared seatbelt use to be mandatory for all motorists.  That same year 43,825 people died in car accidents in the US.  

According to an article appearing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,  while the figures from two years ago are decreased by more than a 16% in highway deaths, in Texas, researchers have found that 5.1% of motorists don’t wear their seatbelts and make up more than 44% of those who die in crashes.

A recent report released by the auto sales site, CoPilot, conducted a study that used data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 2016 -2018 that showed seatbelt use saves lives. The evidence is clear; drivers and passengers who don’t use seatbelts are more likely to be killed if they get into an accident.

In the 35 years since the passage of Texas’ mandatory seatbelt law, 95 out of 100 motorists are now in now compliance with the law and are buckling up. 

According to the National Safety Council, an additional boost to overall safety are the cities and municipalities that are adding improvements in street lights, traffic signals, and other safety features to keep motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists, and others safe.  

Lorraine M. Martin, President for the National Safety Council, said that she and the rest of the organization are encouraged by the actions being taken toward safety. She believes that such laws work to save lives. She is also in favor of stricter regulations regarding speed, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

“We applaud legislation that curtails common crash causes such as impairment, distraction, and speed,” Martin said.

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