TN seat belt use increases to 88.95 percent

News release from the governor’s Highway Safety Office
TENNESSEE – The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) announces a significant increase in overall seat belt usage across the State of Tennessee, compared to the previous year. In 2016, a statewide average of 88.95% of front-seat vehicle occupants were observed wearing seat belts during an annual roadside observational survey study conducted by the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Center for Transportation Research (CTR). In 2015, Tennessee’s statewide seat belt usage reflected an average of 86.23%, according to CTR.

Highlights from the 2016 seat belt survey study are as follows:
• Research data was collected at 190 pre-identified roadway locations across the State of Tennessee.

• Researchers observed more than 27,000 front-seat vehicle occupants from June 6, 2016 to June 17, 2016.

• Vehicles observed included cars, pickup trucks, vans and SUVs.

• A statewide average of 88.95% of front-seat vehicle occupants were observed wearing seat belts.

• Front-seat vehicle occupants observed while traveling on interstate highways and freeways showed the highest usage rate (91.2%) of all roadway types, while those observed on local roadways showed the lowest usage rate (86.1%).

• Overall, female occupants displayed a higher usage rate (93.8%) than males (85.0%).

About the Research:

Every year, the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Center for Transportation Research conducts a statewide, scientifically designed survey study during spring or summer to gather data reflecting the use of seat belts by Tennessee vehicle occupants. The sample design, data collection techniques, and estimation procedures for the surveys are developed in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Uniform Criteria for State Observational Survey of Seat Belt Use,” published in the April 1, 2011, Federal Register (23 CRF Part 1340, pp. 18056- 18059). The full study will become publicly available Fall 2016.

About the Tennessee Highway Safety Office:

The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) is Tennessee’s advocate for traffic safety. THSO works in tandem with the National Highway Safety Administration to implement statewide programs addressing occupant protection, impaired driving, speed enforcement, pedestrian and bicycle safety, and crash data collection and analysis. Programs administered by THSO are 100 percent federally funded. THSO’s mission is to effectively develop, implement and evaluate these programs. To learn more about the Tennessee Highway Safety Office, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.