A new record has been set in the Pelican State for seat belt usage. Based on a study from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, 88% of drivers and passengers are buckled up, which is up 2% from the previous year. The commission’s executive director, Dr. Katara Williams, says they are pleased more motorists are making the choice to buckle up.
“We know for people to survive automobile crashes, you have to wear your seatbelt,” Williams said.
The report shows the increase is mostly attributable to more African-American and Hispanic drivers and passengers are buckling up. Williams says Hispanic usage rates rose 10%.
“These demographics are getting the message, and they’re doing more in order to preserve life,” Williams said.
Usage rates were up in each region of the state, except for the Alexandria and Monroe areas. Williams says there was a 7% decline in drivers and passengers who use their seat belt in central Louisiana.
“We will be targeting those areas that we saw the lowest seatbelt usage and making sure that we change that trend,” Williams said.