Statewide survey shows more Idahoans are wearing life-saving seat belts

Traffic congestion I-90 near Huetter

BOISE – More Idahoans are making the safe choice to wear their seat belts. The Idaho Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is pleased to report that statewide seat belt use rose to 87.6% in 2022, an increase of nearly 5% over last year. In 2021, Idaho’s seat belt use was 82.9%.

The data is based on a statewide survey that OHS conducted in June. OHS teams observed 25,385 people in vehicles at 180 sites across Idaho. Observers count the number of seat belts used in the front seats of cars, vans, SUVs, and trucks.

“This increase in seat belt use is a good sign for Idaho because seat belts save lives,” said OHS Occupant Protection Program Manager Tabitha Smith. “We want everyone to buckle up. One click can save your life.”

Seat belts increase your chances of surviving a crash by nearly 50%. Despite the effectiveness of seat belts and the high usage rate, failing to buckle up is one of the most common contributing factors in traffic fatalities.

Last year, 103 people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts – that is 38% of all fatalities in 2021.

“That simple action of clicking your seat belt is one of the easiest things you can do to stay safe. I’m happy that most Idahoans buckle up, but we still can still do better,” Smith said.