Seat Belt Use in Wisconsin on the Rise

More safety belts are buckled, but more are involved in crashes unbuckled

According to a recently completed observational survey conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), seat belt use in Wisconsin has reached an all time high of more than 88 percent.

The 2016 survey found that 88.4 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up compared with 85.8 percent in a similar survey last year. Wisconsin’s safety belt use still lags behind neighboring states whose rates average over 90 percent.

While seat belt use in Wisconsin is on the rise, nearly half of the drivers and passengers killed in state traffic crashes last year were not wearing a seat belt. Last year alone, there were nearly 55,000 convictions in Wisconsin for failure to fasten a seat belt.

The 2016 observational survey also found the following:

  • Occupants in SUVs were most likely to buckle up with a use rate of 93.7 percent.
  • Pick-up and commercial trucks were the least likely to buckle. Pick-up occupants had a rate of 81.5 percent and commercial trucks at 80 percent.
  • Safety belt use rate in the Milwaukee metro area increased 6 percent compared to last year.
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