Every year, hundreds of Nebraskans are involved in motor vehicle crashes. While buckling up may not lower the number of crashes, it will decrease the number of serious and fatal crashes. Nebraska’s seat belt usage remains much lower than the national average. On average, 79.6% Nebraskan’s wear a seat belt, while nationally the number is up around 88.5%. Even with a 79.6% usage rate, there are still over 383,000 Nebraskans that are not buckling up. Let’s look at some quick facts on why you should buckle up.
In 2010 alone, motor vehicle crashes cost Nebraska $1.3 billion, which averages out to $709 per resident.
79% of motor vehicle fatalities occur in rural areas, double the rate that occur in urban areas.
In 2014, seat belt use saved an estimated 85 in Nebraska, and an additional 44 could have been saved had they worn a seat belt.
A much larger percentage of fatalities involving trucks and SUVs are unrestrained compared to passenger car fatalities.
73% of nighttime fatalities are not wearing a seat belt compared to 52% in the daytime.
In Nebraska, not wearing a seat belt is considered a secondary offense, meaning if you are pulled over for a primary offense (ie. Speeding, failing to stop etc.) and not buckled up, you can get a ticket, but a police officer cannot use not wearing a seatbelt as the primary reason for pulling someone over. If Nebraska switched to a primary seat belt law, it is estimated it would save 15 lives per year, save 263 serious injuries per year, and save $51 million in costs per year. Seat belt usage typically rises 8% when a state passes a primary seat belt law, that would be an additional 150,000 people in the state of Nebraska.