Fewer drivers in the South click it
While seat belt use across the country climbed in 2007, fewer Southerners clicked their seat belts on last year before hitting the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use nationwide climbed to 82 percent last year, a gain of 1 percentage point from 2006. Yet in the Southincluding Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippiusage dropped to 80 percent from 83 percent.
Seat belts are the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. When lap/shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passengers is reduced by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury is reduced by 65 percent.