Study Shows Significant Decrease in Utahns Buckling Up


The Utah Department of Public Safety‘s Highway Safety Office prepared a 2021 report and survey that reflected restraint use by the driver and the front seat outboard passenger.

This report showed that, in comparison to other counties in Utah, Carbon County has experienced a significant decrease in those that wear their seat belt while driving, coming in at -22.8% in a two-year span. The survey continued by noting that 81% of the belted drivers and passengers were women while 65.4% were men.

In 2021, the total belted in Carbon County equaled out to 72%, which is a significant change from 2019, when the record showed 94.8% of those in vehicles in the county with their restraints fastened. Carbon County led the state in seat belt usage in 2019, but the decrease now puts it at the bottom of the charts for 2021.

With the exception of Grand, Iron, Washington and Millard counties, there was an apparent decrease in both rural and urban counties throughout Utah. The report also showed that the rates of female seat belt usage exceeded that of males in all of the counties, with the exception of Weber County. While the greatest increase was witnessed for females in Iron County, the biggest decrease was in males in Carbon County.

Females continue to use seat belts at a higher rate than males, with an overall difference equaling out to nearly 5%. It was also noted that truck occupants continue to have the lowest seat belt usage rate, while SUVs have nearly 10% higher of a rate than truck users.

Urban counties saw a seatbelt usage rate of 89.1%, while the rate for rural counties was counted at 85.3%, which is a 3.7% decrease from 2019. Since 1986, the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Highway Safety Office has conducted this annual seat belt observational study in order to determine the percentage of motorists that are making the decision to buckle up.

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