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Seat Belt Statistics: How Seat Belt Use Affects Your Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiles statistics to show trends in accident rates, injuries, and fatalities for drivers and their passengers in the United States. These trends are important not only because of the vast number of lives affected by traffic accidents each year, but because statistics about seat belt use and other risk factors for injury and death help to educate the public about staying safe on America’s roadways.

2014 Traffic Accident Fatality Statistics

According to the NHTSA, 32,675 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014. This number represents a record low of only 1.07 fatalities per 100 million miles driven.

More than 21,000 of these deaths occurred in passenger cars, a decrease of more than 10,000 since 2005 and 750 below the 2012 total. In passenger vehicle crashes, 15,416 drivers and 5,606 passengers died.

More than 1,500 motorcyclists died on U.S. roads in 2014; the largest numbers came from states without helmet laws for all age groups.

More than 725 cyclists died in accidents with cars in 2014, but this was a decrease of 2.3 percent from the previous year.

Pedestrian deaths increased by more than three percent in 2014. A total of 4,884 died after being hit by vehicles. There were an additional 203 fatalities where the mode of transportation — biking, skating, skateboarding, walking, etc. — was unknown.

While all of these numbers are much too high, most of them are a decrease from past years.

2014 Accident Injury Statistics

Injuries from traffic accidents vary in severity from relatively minor — when hospitals treat and release victims — to severe life-changing injuries. In 2014, the NHTSA reported:

  • 2,074,000 injuries in passenger vehicles
  • 27,000 injured truck drivers or passengers
  • 92,000 motorcyclists who suffered injuries
  • 65,000 pedestrian injuries
  • 50,000 injured cyclists

2014 Seat Belt Statistics

Nationwide, about 87 percent of all drivers and passengers wore seat belts in 2014. This marks a five percent increase in seat belt use since 2005. While modest, this

increase saves lives and prevents thousands of injuries each year.  

Based on known use, NHTSA statistics show that 44 percent of drivers of killed in passenger vehicle accidents during 2014 lacked a seat belt or other proper restraints. This number, however, varies based on the type of vehicle driven.

  • 56 percent of pickup truck drivers killed were unrestrained
  • 50 percent of SUV drivers
  • 39 percent of drivers of passenger car drivers
  • 35 percent of van drivers

When it comes to passengers killed, 45 percent were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. These statistics also varied based on vehicle type, however. This includes:

  • 62 percent of all passenger fatalities in pickup trucks
  • 53 percent of SUV passengers
  • 39 percent of van passengers
  • 39 percent of passengers in cars

2014 Statistics for Accidents in Georgia

In the state of Georgia alone, there were 1,164 traffic fatalities during 2014. This includes 795 drivers or riders in passenger cars, 163 pedestrians, and 19 cyclists. 

Of the 795 passenger vehicle accident deaths, 376 wore a seatbelt while 363 were not properly restrained. The seat belt status of the remaining 56 fatalities is unknown.

Wearing a seat belt can prevent your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent. Always buckle up every time you get behind the wheel and make sure your passengers do the same.

For more information on staying safe on Georgia roads, check out our blog.


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