Seat Belt Usage On the Rise in Missouri

Oct 5, 2016

A recent survey shows that more Missouri drivers are wearing their seat belts, but deadly crashes have also increased.

Based on Missouri driver and passenger data, seat belt use is up 1.5 percent from last year to 81.4 percent. The national average of seat belt users was 86.7 percent in 2015. As of Sept. 29, more than 660 people were killed in traffic crashes, which is an 8 percent increase compared to this time last year. 

Bill Whitfield, director of the Office of Highway Safety, said the increase in crashes has a lot to do with the economy.

Danielle Kellog / Flickr

JEFFERSON CITY - A Senate panel is considering four bills that would change Missouri's laws on texting while driving, seatbelts and motorcycle helmets.

One bill reviewed in a hearing Wednesday would require everyone in a car to wear a seatbelt, including adults in the backseat who are currently exempt from seatbelt requirements.

Two other proposals would ban texting while driving, which currently is forbidden for commercial drivers and people younger than 22.