May 2023 Press Release

Safe Communities announced today that there have been 4 fatal crashes to date this year, the same number as 2022. From May 22-June 4, 2023, state and local law enforcement agencies across the nation will work together to enforce seat belts laws.
Face the Facts

  • The national seat belt use rate in 2022 was 91.6%, which is good — but we can do better. The other 8.4% still need to be reminded that seat belts save lives.
  • Among young adults 18 to 34 killed while riding in passenger vehicles in 2021, more than half (59%) were completely unrestrained — one of the highest percentages for all age groups.
  • Men make up the majority of those killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2021, 66% of the 26,325 passenger vehicle occupants who were killed were men. Men also wear their seat belts at a lower rate than women do — 54% of men killed in crashes were unrestrained, compared to 42% of women killed in crashes.

Bust the Myths

  • Vehicle type: There seems to be a misconception among those who drive and ride in pickup trucks that their large vehicles will protect them better than other vehicles would in a crash. The numbers say otherwise: 61% of pickup truck occupants who were killed in 2021 were not buckled. That’s compared to 47% of passenger car occupants who were not wearing seat belts when they were killed. Regardless of vehicle type, seat belt use is the single most effective way to stay alive in a crash.
  • Seating position: Too many people wrongly believe they are safe in the back seat unrestrained. Forty-nine percent of all front-seat passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2021 were unrestrained, but 57% of those killed in back seats were unrestrained.
  • Rural versus urban locations: In 2021, there were 12,534 passenger vehicle fatalities in rural locations, compared to 13,681 fatalities in urban locations. Out of those fatalities, 51% of those killed in the rural locations were not wearing their seat belts, compared to 49% in urban locations.

Click It or Ticket — Day and Night

  • High-visibility seat belt enforcement is important 24 hours a day, but nighttime is especially deadly for unbuckled occupants. In 2021, 57% of passenger vehicle occupants killed at night (6 p.m.–5:59 a.m.) were not wearing their seat belts.
  • Click It or Ticket isn’t about citations; it’s about saving lives. In 2021, there were 11,813 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States. To help prevent crash fatalities, we need to step up seat belt enforcement, day and night.

Learn more about the Click It or Ticket mobilization at

Updated: 05/04/2023 12:48PM