Study: Seat belt usage on rise but state still behind US

August 22, 2018 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — State officials say more people than ever before are buckling up on the road, but Massachusetts remains below the national average for seat belt usage.

The most recent study conducted for the state by the University of Massachusetts Traffic Safety Research Program determined nearly 82 percent of drivers and front-seat passengers used seat belts, up from nearly 74 percent a year ago.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use nationally topped 90 percent in 2016, the most recent statistics available.

Massachusetts law requires all motor vehicle occupants to be properly restrained.

The latest survey found nearly 87 percent of women and nearly 78 percent of men buckled up.

Suffolk and Norfolk counties had the state’s highest seat belt usage rate, Plymouth and Barnstable counties the lowest.