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HEALTH STATUS - Seat Belt Use
Higher Seat Belt Usage: With the passage of Hawai'i's mandatory seat belt law in 1985, the observed rate of seat belt use in Hawai'i jumped from 33 percent to 73 percent. The all-time high was reached in 2007, at 97.6 percent. This is significantly higher than the observed rate for the U.S., which climbed from 58 percent in 1994 to 82 percent in 2007.

Increasing the Use of Automobile Safety Restraints: Every child safety seat saves $85 in direct medical costs and an additional $1,275 in other costs. Improving use of automobile safety restrains in Hawai'i will require the combined efforts of many fields, including health, education, transportation, law, engineering, and safety sciences.1

Motor Vehicle Fatalities: Almost one in two motor vehicle deaths involved an individual not wearing their seat belt. The rate motor vehicle fatalities where the occupant was not wearing a seat belt is higher than motor vehicle deaths due to alcohol. There is a high likelihood that driving under the influence reduces seat belt usage, which could help explain the alarming statistic. More data is needed to investigate this further.


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> Seat Belt Usage, Hawai`i vs. U.S.
> Percent of Motor Vehicle Occupant Fatalities Not Wearing Safety Restraint, Hawai`i vs. U.S.
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Source: University of Hawai`i at Manoa, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Hawaii Seat Belt Use Survey Results: A Report to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Occupant Protection Use Survey.
Source: Hawai`i State Department of Transportation, Traffic Accident Reporting System; National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Fatal Analysis Reporting System.; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Fatal Analysis Reporting System.