Road to Zero Safety Priority Statement
According to NHTSA, when used properly, lap-shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat vehicle occupants by 45% and the risk of moderate-to-critical injuries by 50%. NHTSA estimates that since 1975 approximately 345,000 lives and over $1 trillion in economic costs have been saved as a result of the use of seat belts. In 2015 alone, approximately 14,000 lives were saved because vehicle occupants were restrained. Despite reaching an all-time high of 90.1% front passenger seat belt use in 2016, there remains a significant opportunity to save additional lives if seat belt usage were even more widespread. Internationally, Sweden, Japan and France have front seat passenger usage in the 95-99% range. Data on rear seat belt usage in the US is much more difficult to obtain. Usage is estimated to be at least 10% lower than for front seat passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimates that the risk of serious injury is nearly 8 times higher among unrestrained rear-row occupants as compared with those using restraints.
To view the full Occupant Restraint Priority Statement, click here.
Approximately 90% of front seat occupants in the United States wear seat belts. Almost 50% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2015 were unrestrained.
With 100% restraint use, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates an average of 2,800 lives would be saved annually. At current usage rates, the needless deaths and injuries that result from seatbelt nonuse continue to cost society an estimated $69 billion annually in lost quality-of-life, medical care, lost productivity, and other injury related costs.
Supporters of Road to Zero Coalition Priority Statement on Occupant Restraints:
- AAA, aaa.org
- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, saferoads.org
- American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, aamva.org
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, transportation.org
- Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, cvsa.org
- Global Automakers, globalautomakers.org
- Governors Highway Safety Association, ghsa.org
- Institute of Transportation Engineers, ite.org
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, iihs.org
- Intelligent Car Coalition, intelligentcarcoalition.org
- International Association of Chiefs of Police,theiacp.org
- MADD, madd.org
- National Association of City Transportation Officials, nacto.org
- National Association of County Engineers, naco.org
- National Association of State Emergency Medical Service Officials, nasemso.org
- National Safety Council, nsc.org
- Vision Zero Network, visionzeronetwork.org
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