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Indicator Report - Seat Belts: Safety Restraint Use

Why Is This Important?

Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are one of the leading causes of injury death and hospitalization in Utah. Seat belts are the single most effective safety device for preventing serious injuries and reducing fatalities in MVCs, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

NHTSA has found that deaths and serious injuries caused by MVCs could be reduced by approximately 50 percent with proper and consistent use of safety belts. NHTSA also found that if all 50 states achieved 90 percent seat belt usage, it would result in an overall total cost savings of $5.5 billion (NHTSA,

In Utah, unbelted crash occupants were 34 times more likely to die in a crash than crash occupants wearing seat belts. Unrestrained teen drivers and their passengers were 126 times more likely than restrained occupants to be killed in a crash. Unbuckled passengers can also become a projectile and increase the risk of hurting or killing others in the car by 40 percent. Ejection from the vehicle is one of the most injurious events that can happen to a person in a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 percent more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. Three out of four people who are ejected during a crash die from their injuries.

Likelihood of Injury and Death: Risks for Belted and Unbelted Occupants in a Motor Vehicle Crash, Utah, 2013

::chart - missing::
data table
Over 97 percent of persons who survived a crash reported being restrained. Unrestrained crash occupants were 130 times more likely to be fully ejected from a motor vehicle and 34 times more likely to be killed than restrained crash occupants.

Data Sources

Utah Crash Summary, Department of Public Safety, Highway Safety Office.

Other Views


Percentage of drivers and front seat passengers observed using safety restraints in Utah as part of the National Occupant Protection Use Survey conducted by the Utah Highway Safety Office. The survey uses data collected by UHP troopers at intersections, highway ramps, and parking lots.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of persons observed using restraints.
Denominator: Number of persons observed.

Page Content Updated On 12/08/2014, Published on 12/10/2014
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 04 July 2015 22:15:39 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:15:13 MST