Traffic Crashes Take Their Toll on America's Rural Roads: The Need to Establish Rural Seat Belt Programs

While one-fifth of the Nation's population lives in rural areas, two-fifths of the vehicle miles traveled and three-fifths of all fatal crashes occur there. More than half of those killed are unrestrained, signifying the overwhelming need for traffic safety programs in rural areas. This document highlights examples of rural seat belt programs that are making a difference. It begins with a look at the critical need for active, ongoing seat belt use programs in rural areas. Environmental factors and conditions are reviewed, as well as crash factors and the problem of unrestrained occupants. Attention is then focused on effective programs to increase seat belt use rates in rural communities. Among the topics examined are the importance of primary seat belt laws, private-public sector partnerships for support of rural seat belt programs, conducting high-visibility enforcement, "Click It or Ticket" campaigns, dispelling concerns about enforcing seat belt laws in rural areas, and other special seat belt enforcement programs. Communications strategies are reviewed and concluding comments concern making the case for a rural seat belt program. Contacts and resources are provided. Appendix A provides a seat belt observation data collection form, while Appendix B provides a sample in-person/public opinion survey.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures;
  • Pagination: 28p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01042175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-810 658
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 23 2007 9:29AM