Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Seat belt safety

Driver wearing his safety belt

Safety belt use in Wisconsin is...

Behind the national average and neighboring states

  • Although safety belt use in Wisconsin reached an all-time high of 83 percent of drivers and passengers buckling up in 2013, the state still lags behind the national average of 86 percent.
  • Wisconsin is also behind its neighboring states all of which have safety belt use rates of more than 90 percent.

An incredibly effective and simple way to lives

  • Consistent safety belt use is the single most effective way to protect people from being ejected from a vehicle or being thrown around violently inside it during a crash.
  • In Wisconsin, a 10 percent increase in safety belt use would save about 44 lives and prevent 650 injuries each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
  • Teen safety belt use is much lower than other age groups. Coupled with a lack of driving experience, low safety belt use is a major reason why traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people nationwide.

Costing all of us lots of money for unbelted motorists in crashes:

  • Drivers and passengers who are hurt or killed in traffic crashes because they didn't buckle up create tremendous economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost worker productivity. The rest of society pays for nearly 75 percent of these economic losses through higher insurance premiums, taxes, and other public funding, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
  • In 2012, economic losses from traffic fatalities and injuries in Wisconsin cost nearly $2 billion, according to the 2012 Wisconsin Traffic Crash Facts.

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Questions about the content of this page:
Steve Olson, steve.olson@dot.wi.gov

Last modified: August 6, 2014

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