Idaho’s Safety Restraint Issue – 2011
An unrestrained passenger motor vehicle occupant is killed every 4.7 days.
The cost of crashes involving unrestrained occupants was $627 million in 2011.
(Idaho Traffic Crashes 2011)
Idaho’s observed safety restraint use rate increased from 78% in 2010 to 79% in 2011. While the observed rate was 79%, 63% of the motor vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. If everyone had been wearing seat belts, 39 of the
77 unbelted motor vehicle occupants may have been saved.
Lives Lost & People Injured
- Safety restraints, when used, are the most effective safety feature ever introduced for vehicles, cutting in half the likelihood for fatal and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes. (Traffic Safety Facts 2003, NHTSA). By this estimate there were
39 lives saved in 2011 by seat belt usage and an additional 39 lives could have been save if everyone had buckled up.
- In 2011, 877Idahoans killed in car crashes were not wearing their safety restraints. In addition,
278 unbelted Idahoans were critically injured in traffic crashes. (Idaho Traffic Crashes 2011)
- In 2011, 83% of occupants killed in DUI crashes were not buckled up.
77% of those killed in speed-related crashes were not buckled up.
- In 2011, 53 people were killed in single-vehicle rollover
crashes, only 8 or 15% were wearing seat belts or in a child safety seat.
- Seat belts are estimated to be even more effective in preventing fatalities in rollover crashes. Seat belt use reduces fatalities by 74% in rollover crashes involving passenger cars and by 80% in rollover crashes involving light trucks. (This effectiveness info from Fatality Reduction by Safety Belts for Front Seat Occupants of Cars and Light Trucks, NHTSA, DOT HS 809 199)
- In 2011, the 21% of Idahoans that did not buckle up accounted for
63% of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes.
- When used properly, NHTSA estimates that seat belts (lap/shoulder belts) reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-severe injury by 50 percent. Seat belts are even more effective for light truck occupants, reducing the fatality risk by 60 percent and the moderate-to-serious injury risk by 65 percent. (Traffic Safety Facts 2006, NHTSA)
- Rear seat car occupants, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 44 percent. For rear seat passenger van and sport utility vehicle occupants, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 73 percent. (DOT HS 808 945, NHTSA Technical Report, 1999)
Who Are the Unbelted Killed
Idaho Unrestrained Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatality Profile: 2009-2011
- Teen – Teens make up the highest percentage of the unrestrained fatalities. Of the
68 teen passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes, 62% (42) were unrestrained.
- Males – Males are less likely than women to buckle up. In Idaho, men comprised 61% of all the passenger vehicle occupants killed. Of the
272 male passenger vehicle occupants killed from 2009-2011, 56% (153) were unrestrained.
- Rural Roads – Crashes occurring on rural roads accounted for 84% of the passenger vehicle occupants killed. Of the
444 passenger vehicle occupants killed on rural roads over the last
3 years, 56% (372) were unrestrained.
- There were 444 passenger vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes in the last
3 years (from 2009 to 2011). Of the 444 killed, 237 (53%) were unrestrained.
More of Idaho's Seat Belt Issue Questions and Answers here