Elements of the Safety Plan
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Goal 8 - Increasing Seatbelt Usage and Improving Airbag Awareness
The use of safety belts is a tried and true safety practice. The safety belt is among the most effective safety innovations ever designed for motor vehicles. NHTSA estimates that between 1983 and 1987, belt use laws saved nearly 7,000 lives. Current usage for seat belts is about 68 percent; NHTSA believes the number of lives saved could be substantially increased if more people used safety belts. Clearly, seat belt usage is higher in States with standard (primary enforcement) safety belt laws than in those with less demanding laws or none at all. A high priority for the motor vehicle safety community is securing standard safety belt legislation in all States. States such as California and North Carolina realized a significant increase in safety belt usage (to 80 percent in North Carolina) through the combination of a standard law and an aggressive awareness and enforcement effort.