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Despite the government’s mandatory requirement to use seatbelts while driving, the number of drivers and passengers killed while not using restraints is still up and rising. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been an 85 percent increase in the use of seatbelts among accident victims. However, thousands of lives could have been saved if people followed the law. The 2000 to 2010 report said that people at the age of 25 to 34 are least likely to use seatbelts. They also have the highest number of unrestrained passenger vehicle fatalities based on age at 63 percent. Occupants aged 21 to 24 follow at 61 percent, and the 16 to 20 and 35 to 44 age groups tied at 60 percent.

Males appear to be more prone to unrestrained fatalities than women. About 57 percent of cases involve male occupants who are not using seatbelts while 43 percent are women. The report also says that unrestrained occupant fatality rates in the back seat at 63 percent are higher than those in front at 50 percent. Moreover, the type of vehicle also matters. According to the number of deaths involving unrestrained passengers per vehicle type, the most cases come from pickup trucks. Statistics say that 64 percent of pickup drivers who died in an accident were unrestrained while passengers accounted for 68 percent of deaths.

The number of SUV drivers who died without using seatbelts or other restraints was 57 percent while 54 percent of passengers died. Van driver fatalities are at 47 percent while passenger rates are at 53 percent. Unrestrained passenger car drivers have a fatality rate of 44 percent while passengers die at 46 percent. The report further explains that using seatbelts has already saved about 12,546 lives. However, 3,341 more lives could have been saved if proper safety measures were observed while on the road.


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