Serves the Commercial Small Fleet Market of 10 – 50 Vehicles

Seat-Belt Use Lower, Deaths Higher in Pickups

May 19, 2005

Motorists in pickup trucks use seat belts less often those in cars. The government released statistics Monday stating that a higher percentage of people killed in pickup crashes didn’t buckle up, according to a May 17 Associated Press report. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than 80 percent of the people in passenger cars buckled up in 2003, compared to 70 percent of those in pickup trucks.But the numbers were more severe in terms of fatalities, according to the AP report: 70 percent of those killed in pickup truck crashes in 2003 did not wear safety belts, compared to 50 percent of the fatalities in cars."While overall safety belt use is at an all-time high of 80 percent, 6,000 more lives could be saved each year if everyone buckled up," said Jeffrey Runge, administrator of the traffic safety agency.Statistics show seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45 percent in passenger cars and up to 60 percent in pickup trucks, SUVs and minivans, according to NHTSA.Runge advocates states to enact laws that allow police to stop motorists solely for not wearing seat belts. Such laws, known as primary enforcement safety belt laws, are in place in 21 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.The remaining states have secondary enforcement, which allows tickets for seat belt violations only if motorists are stopped for another offense. New Hampshire has no seat belt law for adults.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released those statistics to open the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which is used to enforce seat-belt laws nationwide using police checkpoints and patrols. The two-week campaign runs from May 23 through June 5.
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