ND seat belt use below national average, but increasing

By  | 

BISMARCK, N.D. - North Dakotans are buckling up more often, but we still fall below the national average for seat belt use.

A 2016 report finds that about 83 percent of North Dakotans wear seat belts, as compared to nearly 89 percent of the rest of the country.

A report by the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute shows that drivers in vans have the highest seat belt usage.

According to the North Dakota Department of Transportation, preliminary 2016 data shows that 60 percent of drivers killed in accidents were not wearing a seat belt. The number has decreased over the past few years.

The DOT and the Highway Patrol push for increased seat belt use through campaigns like 'Click It or Ticket.'

"People that live out in the country, they tend to think 'oh they're just going from here to there.' They've grown up, and they haven't always worn their seat belt. Even people who live in town, they think they're just going a short distance. But most crashes happen close to home," says Ashlee Doan, NDDOT Safety Division.

According to the Department of Transportation, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in North Dakota.