Why are we dead last in Massachusetts and risking living free and dying in New Hampshire?
• Massachusetts, one of the states with higher educational levels, is dead last in the U.S. rankings for seatbelt use at 73.2% according to a survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation. When the seatbelt law was originally passed, Mass. was a primary seatbelt law state, meaning you could be pulled over by the police for not wearing a seatbelt. Now it is a secondary law state, whereby you can only be cited for not wearing a seatbelt, if you are pulled over for another reason.
• New Hampshire is the only state in the nation with no seat belt law for adults and ranks third from the bottom for seatbelt use at 75% — in my opinion, those who believe in no legislation based on the N.H. slogan of “Live Free or Die” may be choosing to die in an accident by not wearing seatbelts, similar to not having a motorcycle helmet law. N.H. has a child passenger restraint law like all states, mandating seatbelts be used by everyone under the age of 18. By the way, the national average is about 85% for adults who wear their seatbelts.
• There are 31 states with primary seatbelt laws and their seatbelt use is significantly higher than in the 18 states with a secondary law and N.H. without a law.
• Every day there are 6,400 adults in the U.S. injured in a crash. Wearing seatbelts reduces serious injuries and deaths by about 50%. Motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of deaths among 5-34 year olds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Please don’t tell me that seatbelts are uncomfortable, or that you’re staying close to home so you don’t need to wear one. When all of the safety organizations in the country have stats to prove that seatbelt use means prevention of serious injury and in many cases, saves lives. It is time to change behavior. Please wear your seatbelt.
The team at Jaffarian Volvo Toyota Scion cares about you.
Buckle up and drive safely!