Behind the national average and neighboring states
Although safety belt use in Wisconsin had 79 percent of drivers
and passengers buckling up in 2011, it still lags behind the 84
percent national average for safety belt use.
Wisconsin is also behind neighboring states including Michigan
and Illinois, which have safety belt use rates of more than
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. This lack of safety belt use
coupled with a lack of driving experience is a major reason why
traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people
Costing all of us lots of money for unbelted motorists in
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.
Each Wisconsin traffic fatality costs more than $1.3 million
and each incapacitating injury nearly $70,000 based on National
Safety Council estimates. In 2009, economic losses from traffic
fatalities and injuries in Wisconsin cost nearly $2 billion,
according to the
Wisconsin Traffic Crash Facts.