THSO: Seat belt usage up in Tennessee over 2021

On Monday, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) announced results from its annual roadside observational survey to determine the state’s average seat belt usage rate. This survey returned a statewide usage rate of 90.49 percent. The 2022 survey result is Tennessee’s third-highest annual seat belt usage rate, and represents an increase of approximately 0.4 percent compared to Tennessee’s rate of 90.12%.

According to the THSO, research data was collected at 190 previously-identified roadway locations across Tennessee and researchers observed almost 26,000 occupants of all types of non-commercial vehicles.

Highlights from Tennessee’s 2022 seat belt survey include:

  • The highest belt usage rate was observed among occupants in sport utility vehicles (96.0%).
  • The lowest belt usage rate was observed among occupants in pickup trucks (80.6%).
  • Female occupants were observed to have a higher usage rate (96.2 %) than males (86.4%).
  • Front-seat passengers were observed to have a higher usage rate (92.2 %) than drivers (90.2%).
  • County-level usage rates exceeded 90% in 12 of 16 counties included in the survey’s sample.

This data was collected through an annual roadside observational survey conducted by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Transportation Research during the spring of 2022 in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use.

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