Missouri still below national average in seat belt usage

2 months 4 days 18 hours ago Thursday, October 12 2017 Oct 12, 2017 Thursday, October 12, 2017 6:16:00 AM CDT October 12, 2017 in News
By: Mackenzie Huck, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - Seat belt usage is up in Missouri, with 84 percent of Missourians choosing to buckle up. That is a 2.6 percent increase from 2016. However, the state is still well below the national average of 90 percent.

The Missouri Seat Belt Usage Survey had observers record data from within 28 Missouri counties on over 115,000 vehicle occupants.

Michael Stapp, MoDOT Systems Management Specialist, said there is still work to be done.

"We're elated that we are up to 84 percent," Stapp said. "That's still not good enough, though. It needs to be higher."

MoDOT started conducting the Missouri Seat Belt Usage Survey in 1998. The seat belt usage was 60 percent at the time. Stapp said the increase from 2016 to 2017 is the first large increase MoDOT has seen in a decade.

"An increase from 60 to 84 is great," Stapp said. "From 1998 when we were at 60, now in 2017 we are up to 84. We are getting closer to the goal. We are also really impressed with this year's increase. This is the biggest increase we've seen in a while. Probably 10 years."

According a press release by MoDOT, female drivers are more likely to buckle up than male drivers. In addition, minivan and utility sport and crossover vehicle drivers were more likely to be belted.

"When you think of a minivan, that's usually the soccer mom with three or four kids," Stapp said. "I think that lends itself to why the seat belt rate is higher for those vehicles."

Stapp said the passengers are more likely to buckle up if the driver is buckled.

Pickup truck drivers and passengers were least likely to buckle up. Just 69 percent of pickup drivers were buckled during the survey. Missouri is one of 15 states that do not have a primary seat belt law, which Stapp said contributes to the low percentages. 

 "On pickup trucks, depending on the size of the truck and what it's licensed at, you don't have to have a seatbelt," Stapp said. That was originally established for farm communities and farmers in general who are in and out of the field. They don't want to be getting in and out with the seatbelts."

Stapp said the law for farm pickup trucks should be updated.

"In Missouri, we have a large number of pickup trucks and it's not just farmers driving pickups anymore," Stapp said. "It's an everyday family vehicle. We should have a primary law. We could save 40 lives a year with that."

Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic violations taking place. Secondary seat belt laws state that law enforcement officers may issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another traffic infraction.

According to Stapp, the rate of fatal car crashes in Missouri is down this year, but MoDOT wants to continue to alert drivers to the dangers of unbuckled driving.

"Over 65 percent of fatal crashes in Missouri happen when the person is unbuckled," Stapp said. "While our rate is lower this year, we were up the past two years. We are behind where we want to be, but it appears as though people are slowly getting the message."

Stapp said MoDOT wants to emphasize that people should buckle their seatbelt every time they get in the car.

"Every trip, every person, every time," Stapp said. "If you can save at least one life, it's worth it."

 

More News

Grid
List
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
21 minutes ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
3 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA- On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. The... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
8 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
12 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The application for the top education position in the state, Missouri State Education Board Commissioner, opened Friday leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:02:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
BLUE SPRINGS (AP) — A commercial real estate records company based in suburban Kansas City has abruptly shut down, leaving... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department say a house fire that killed a cat Friday afternoon started in the kitchen.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 7:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
9pm 48°
10pm 47°
11pm 44°
12am 43°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
10:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Will & Grace
7:30p
Superstore
8:00p
Dateline NBC
9:00p
Saturday Night Live
7:00p
Family Guy
7:30p
Family Guy
8:00p
Bob's Burgers
8:30p
Bob's Burgers
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld