With seatbelt use down, car crash fatalities have risen 20%

Sep 1, 2022, 1:46 PM
(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
(Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

According to a new federal government study, seatbelt use is down and fatality crashes are up, with the number of deaths involving people thrown from a vehicle rising by 20% nationally from 2019 to 2020.

Traffic fatalities regardless of whether or not people were using seatbelts were up 7.2% in 2020 compared to 2019.

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According to Pemco Insurance spokesperson Allison Leep, “National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) fatality statistics, which compare 2021 to 2020, show deaths increased.” Here are the numbers:

  • 16% increase in multi-vehicle crashes
  • 14% increase among drivers 65 and older
  • 13% increase among pedestrians
  • 13% increase in crashes involving at least one large truck.

Leep says that last year was the deadliest year on our roads in 16 years here in Washington state. The Pacific Northwest overall was much worse for traffic fatalities, which saw a 10.5% increase in 2021 compared to 2020. NHTSA released those numbers in spring 2022 and noted they were partially based on statistical projections.

KIRO Newsradio asked Leep why drivers aren’t wearing their seatbelts, and she said the study finds that drivers are more than likely impaired and just don’t buckle up.

She reminds everyone that driving is a team sport and to always buckle up when behind the wheel.

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With seatbelt use down, car crash fatalities have risen 20%