Entries in Seat belts (3)


Seat Belt Use at Record High, New Report Shows

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Seatbelt use in the U.S. has reached an all time high, according to a new report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

Through an annual survey, the organization found that 86 percent of Americans use a seat belt when driving a car, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. Researchers also found that seat belt use has been on a consistent incline since 1994, which corresponds with a steady decrease in unrestrained vehicle passenger fatalities in the daytime.

“When it comes to driving safely, one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your family is to use a seat belt,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Officials attribute the trend to the passage of primary seat belt laws in certain states, where authorities can issue tickets solely based on those not wearing a seat belt. A total of 32 states and the District of Columbia have passed primary laws requiring seat belt use.

There have also been rising efforts in seat belt use awareness, such as the "Click It or Ticket" initiative, a national campaign dedicated to heighten awareness among young people to wear a seat belt when in the car.

"We’ve made steady gains in belt use in recent years,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Moving forward, it will be critical to build on this success using a multi-faceted approach that combines good laws, effective enforcement, and public education and awareness.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


NJ Lawmakers Consider Pet Seat Belt Bill

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TRENTON, N.J.) -- It may be “Click it or Ticket” for pet owners in New Jersey, as state lawmakers consider a bill that would require drivers to secure pets in seat belts or pay a fine. Penalties could run up to as much as $1,000 in extreme cases of animal cruelty, such as keeping a pet unsecured in the bed of a pickup truck.

The fines would not apply to pets kept in crates.
Other states, such as Hawaii, Connecticut, Illinois and Maine have banned motorists from driving with pets in their laps, but New Jersey is apparently the first state to require that pets be strapped in.

The bill was introduced by Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, who owns a Pomeranian, five cats and a rabbit, and was endorsed by New Jersey’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Most Parents Use Seatbelts Improperly, Study Shows

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Parents are making mistakes when they install car seats, and new research by the non-profit group Safe Kids USA found "frequent opportunities" to improve the safety of young occupants.  

The instructions are there, but Safe Kids says too many children are riding in car seats that are improperly installed.  The biggest problem is the top tether, the strap at the top of the car seat that protects the child's head.

According to research by Safe Kids USA, only 30 percent are actually using the tether straps. Safe Kids says among those that do, 40 percent use it incorrectly.  

The study also says that many parents are not using the most appropriate seats for their children’s ages.

Safe Kids reviewed 79,000 car seat checklists collected at inspection events held by the group in 2009 and 2010. They found 70 percent of parents drive off with improperly secured children.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for children ages three to 14 and that proper installation and use of child safety seats would decrease the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.

One of the recommendations made by Safe Kids and other safety organizations is that children stay rear-facing in vehicles until they are two years of age. However, the low rate of tether strap usage remains the biggest concern.

Child Safety advocates say that lack of public awareness is one of the biggest factors contributing to the disappointing numbers.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio