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Seat Belts Still First Line of Defense for Summer Travel Season

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) runs a number of safety campaigns throughout the year in order to educate the public and to encourage law enforcement to take strong action in enforcing driver safety laws. This year, one of the events is the National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization Campaign. The Campaign will be ongoing from the two week period between May 20 and June 2nd and is an annual event that centers on Memorial Day weekend. 107206_buckle_up.jpg

Our Boston car accident lawyers know that buckling up can save lives and that the risk of a car accident death significantly decreases when a driver is wearing a seat belt. Yet, far too many people — and especially young people — don’t buckle up despite seat belt laws. The NHTSA’s Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization Campaign is one way to begin to change this fact and to encourage people to buckle up.

Click it Or Ticket Event Educates the Public and Promotes Police Enforcement

The NHTSA’s Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization Campaign is more commonly known as the “Click it or Ticket” program and is an annual event that has been successful in the past at encouraging people to buckle up.

According to a 2011 telephone survey conducted by NHTSA, most people will begin buckling up when police start writing more traffic tickets for failure to obey seat belt laws. The survey also revealed that many people who buckle up during high enforcement periods will continue to wear their seat belts even after the special program has ended. Once a driver starts buckling up, it can become a habit and the driver is more likely to automatically buckle his seat belt when getting into the car. This simple, quick act can significantly reduce the chances of a fatality or serious injury and can save the driver’s life.

The NHTSA’s Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization Campaign can thus have a major impact on driver safety. In fact, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood indicates that earlier enforcement efforts have had a marked impact on improving seat belt use and that more people buckle up now than ever before. In 2012, for example, seat belt use was at a record high with 86 percent of drivers indicating that they buckle up when in the car. Unfortunately, this percentage is lower among teens, who are less likely than any other age group to drive without buckling.

Still, the fact that the vast majority of all drivers buckle up is a very good thing and has come about largely because of programs like Click it or Ticket as well as tougher seat belt laws in many states.

The Focus is on Night Time Drivers

NHTSA hopes that this years Click it or Ticket program will encourage even more drivers to adopt the safe practice of buckling their seat belts when they get into the car. This year, in particular, the focus will be on nighttime drivers who tend to be less likely to buckle up.

In 2011, for example, 62 percent of people who were killed in car accidents at night were not wearing seat belts, as compared with just 43 percent of drivers during the day. As Time Magazine reports, police intend to give out double the number of tickets than they normally do during this stepped-up period of enforcement. Many of those will be given out at night when NHTSA is encouraging law enforcement officers to be especially aggressive at pulling over violators of seat belt laws.

If you or a loved one was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
NHTSA Focuses on Distractions Caused by In-Car Technology, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2013