THERE'S ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT WHEN IT COMES TO SEAT BELT USE IN TN

It is a widely known fact that using seat belts can save the lives of both Tennessee drivers and passengers. However, despite this fact, many people are still not using them and putting themselves in danger.

According to Clarksville Online, a recent study found that almost one in five people reported foregoing the use of a seatbelt. This is startling considering the fact that 88 percent of respondents deemed it unacceptable to not wear a seatbelt, while at the same time more than 1 in 20 people said they do not use a seatbelt on a regular basis.

Overall, seat belt use across the country is on the rise, although passengers in the rear seat remain less likely to wear a seatbelt than front seat passengers. Given the fact that fatalities for rear seat passengers are three times greater than front seat passengers, improvement in this area is needed. In fact, Tennessee is one of several states that do not make seat belt use by rear seat passengers over the age of 16 mandatory.

Interestingly, Knox County in particular showed a drop in seat belt use from 2014 to 2015, according to WATE 6. During that year, seat belt use was 18 percent lower for the county compared to the prior year, and was lower than the overall Tennessee state average by 8 percent. It is hoped that an increase in fines for seat belt violators that took effect earlier this year will help in making seat belt use more prevalent in Tennessee.

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