June 25, 2015

Stronger seat belt laws save lives

A new study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine  shows states with stronger seat belt laws had fewer car crash fatalities between 2001 and 2010 than states with less strict laws.

Thirty-three states have primary seat belt laws, which allow officers to issue a ticket solely for not wearing seat belts. Sixteen states, including Massachusetts, have secondary seat belt laws that allow officers to issue a ticket only if the car is pulled over for another violation. One state has no law.

The fatality rate was 17 percent lower in states with primary laws.

The issue is critical for teen drivers. The study showed teens have the lowest rates of seat belt use and highest rate of fatalities.

 

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