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New Study Shows Kansas Ties for 8th Lowest Seat Belt Usage Rate in the U.S.

close up safety belt in a car

Wichita car accident lawyers discuss this troubling trend

Seat belts may have saved almost 15,000 lives last year, but for 1 out of 10 drivers in the U.S., that's not enough of a reason to buckle up.

Seat belts don't just save lives, they also reduce the severity of car accident injuries.

A new study illuminates a lack of seat belt usage. The issue is particularly severe in Kansas, which tied with Oklahoma and Virginia as the 8th worst states for seat belt use. About 85 percent of people wear seatbelts while driving or being transported here, the study says.

The state with the worst rate is New Hampshire (71 percent usage), and the best rate is Hawaii's (97 percent usage).

Study authors at ValuePenguin say that an additional 1,550 lives could have been saved last year if crash victims had been wearing seat belts.

Kansas seat belt law

Kansas law requires all people in traveling vehicles to use seat belts or another approved form of safety restraint. There are some states that only require people in the front seats to wear belts. Others require minors to be protected, but not adults.

Analysts dug into seat belt use trends and found some interesting details. The following are study highlights.

Seat belt stats

  • Since 1975, seat belts have saved an estimated 374,000 lives.
  • Vehicle occupants who were not wearing seat belts make up 43 percent of deaths due to car accidents.
  • People between the ages of 16 and 24 are least likely to wear seat belts.
  • Child car seats likely saved 325 lives in the past year.
  • Among people who do not wear seat belts, 67 percent use car seats for their children.
  • Nearly 20 percent of drivers do not strap in their child passengers if traffic is light.

Wichita crash hotspots

Kansas experiences many car accidents each day. Too many of these end in severe injuries and death due to occupants not wearing seat belts.

On I-235, for example, a crash recently claimed two lives. The fatal two-vehicle crash happened in late February when a pickup truck went through a median and hit a box truck head-on. Both drivers died. One of them wasn't wearing a seat belt, according to local media reports.

In Wichita, some areas are at a higher risk of a crash than others. Over the last 5 years, the following roadways have experienced multiple fatal crashes involving cars, trucks, and motorcycles. These roadways are, for the most part, inside the I-35 Loop and include:

  • I-81
  • I-235 (21st Street to Zoo Boulevard)
  • 13th Street
  • Central Avenue
  • McLean Boulevard
  • Douglas Avenue
  • Kellogg Avenue

Injured in a crash? Talk to a car accident attorney today.

Wearing a seat belt can save your life in the event of a crash, but you can still suffer a severe injury due to another driver's reckless actions. And if you were injured in a car accident that wasn't your fault, you deserve financial compensation for your losses.

At Warner Law Offices in Wichita, our car accident lawyers fight for the rights of crash victims. We know how to conduct thorough crash investigations that support strong cases. We know how to deal with insurance companies. And we know how to advocate for the compensation our clients need and deserve.

To learn more about how we can help with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.

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