5/29/2013 - 'Click It or Ticket' campaign gets underway
Due to the risks associated with driving, many people today are on autopilot when it comes to buckling up - where as soon as they enter a vehicle, they reach for their seat belt to strap themselves or their young children in. And during the last two weeks of May, traffic enforcement officers hope to encourage more people to get into the seat belt habit.
From May 20 to June 2, in consultation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, police units around the country will launch their annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign. It's during this fortnight that law enforcement officers will increase their presence on area roads, looking to see if drivers are using their seat belts. A wealth of studies have shown that after minor or serious auto accidents - both of which may require auto insurance to cover the damages - passengers and drivers are much more likely to walk away from them unscathed by wearing them versus not.
It appears as though most motorists have gotten this message. In a 2012 report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, overall seat belt use increased, rising from 84% in 2011 to 86% last year.
Perhaps the greatest illustration of widespread seat belt usage is comparing today to where conditions were in 1994. At that time, just over half of automotive passengers - 58% - regularly buckled up. Officials believe that greater communication as well as campaigns like "Click It or Ticket" have factored into the reality that most Americans wear their seat belts.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes are the leading cause of death among individuals between 5 and 34 years of age. Buckling up mitigates this risk by approximately 50%.