Love Your Mom - Buckle Up
While the national seat belt rate hovers around 90%, Massachusetts' rate continues to lag. The 2017 annual seat belt observation study showed a 4% decrease in seat belt use, down to 74%, which places us as the third worst state usage rate in the country. The populations with the lowest usage rates in Massachusetts continues to be men (67%), pickup truck drivers (57%), and commercial truck drivers (45%).
The MA Highway Safety Division hosted focus groups last year to find out the 'why' and 'how' - why men are buckling up so much less often than women; and how we can convince men to always wear a seat belt. What we discovered was that, while driving distance and coolness factor into their decision not to wear seat belts, loved ones - especially mothers - can influence their decision to buckle up.
As a result, we launched the "Love Your Mom - Buckle Up" campaign this May. Seat belts continue to be the single most effective way to protect yourself against other drivers who may be impaired, aggressive, or distracted. This campaign targets men age 18-34 and truck drivers who, in addition to having the lowest seat belt usage rate, also have the highest unbelted fatality rate. The decals below will be affixed on commercial vehicles zig-zagging the state of Massachusetts over the next couple of weeks.
Additional Resources for Love Your Mom - Buckle Up
Massachusetts Seat Belt PSAs
Statewide Seat Belt Observation Survey
Each year, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Office of Grants and Research, Highway Safety Division conducts a statewide seat belt observation study to measure seat belt usage across the Commonwealth. The survey typically runs through the month of June and observations are done at a wide range of roadway locations during various time periods of the day.
From 2006 to 2016, the seat belt usage rate rose from 67% to 78% before dropping in 2017 to 74%.
Below are the observation survey results from the last three years: