Today's News

Time to get tough on seat belt slackers

The first-ever national report card on vehicle safety from the National Safety Council gives 19 states Ds and Fs for driver and passenger safety. States that score the highest, such as California, achieved success through strong seat belt laws that are strictly enforced, according to the Council. As a whole, the report calls the nation's performance "unacceptable”.

"The U.S. ranks behind virtually every other developed country when it comes to seat belt use, " says Alan McMillan, president of the National Safety Council. "We are killing kids and destroying families on our highways."

Seat belt use in the U.S. has increased from 58 percent to 71 percent in the past five years. In comparison, Canada has a 92 percent seat belt rate.

The report gives California the only A in recognition of its 89 percent seat belt use (the highest in the country) and tough seat belt law that is well-enforced — all resulting in dramatically lower fatality rates. Eight states receive Fs: Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas and New Hampshire.

These states fail because of weak seat belt laws (which prevent officers from stopping drivers because they are unbelted), seat belt usage rates below 58 percent, and predictably large numbers of fatalities per capita. New Hampshire fails in large part because it has no adult seat belt law. North Dakota has the lowest seat belt usage rate of any state — 48 percent.

The National Safety Council believes enforcement is the ticket to greater seat belt use. Its top priority: standard enforcement seat belt laws should be adopted in every state. Funds should not be used for any new educational programs unless they can be shown to “actually increase seat belt use,” according to the Council.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to ISHN.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Scenes from the World of Safety

Sights, signs & symbols from the National Safety Congress & Expo held in San Diego, CA, September 15-18

4/21/15 2:00 pm EDT

The Safety Selfie: It’s time to take a “snap shot” of your safety program and contemplate what others see

We all know perception is reality and that people perceive things differently. As a safety manager, your perception of your safety program almost certainly differs from that of your workers and your managers. We will use our “Safety Selfies” to expose weaknesses, real and perceived, and to talk about how best to make improvements.

ISHN Magazine


2015 April

Check out ISHN's April issue, which features content about lockout-tagout, heat stress, hearing protection and more!

Table Of Contents Subscribe


M:\General Shared\__AEC Store Katie Z\AEC Store\Images\ISHN\safetyfourth.jpg
Safety Engineering, 4th Edition

A practical, solutions-driven reference, Safety Engineering, 4th edition, has been completely revised and updated to reflect many of today’s issues in safety.

More Products

For Distributors Only - January 2015



For Distributors Only is ISHN's niche brand standard-sized magazine supplement aimed at an audience of 2,000 U.S. distributors that sell safety products. Circulation only goes to distributors. 



Facebook logo Twitter YouTubeLinkedIn Google + icon

ishn infographics

2012 US workplace deathsCheck out ISHN's new Infographic page! Learn more about worker safety through these interactive images. CLICK HERE to view the page.