The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has released a report titled “Occupant Protection Traffic Safety” that shows that pickup truck drivers and passengers have had the highest percentage of unrestrained fatalities across all vehicle types for nearly 20 years.
In 2021, 60% of pickup truck drivers and 64% of pickup truck passengers killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. This group continues to be at the forefront of programs to increase seat belt use.
Unbelted passenger vehicle occupants haven’t fared much better. The number of passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes from 2018 to 2021 has increased every year. In 2018, there were 9,545 unrestrained fatalities. In 2021, 11,813 passenger vehicle occupants who died in a crash (45%) were not wearing a seat belt.
Data shows that over the years, a greater percentage of unrestrained fatalities occur at night than during the day. In 2021, 57% of people who died in nighttime crashes were unrestrained, compared to 43% who died during the day.
NHTSA is currently kicking off its annual Click It or Ticket campaign to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up, reminding everyone that seat belts save lives. Learn more.
Maybe there is a correlation to folks who drive pickups as commuter or work vehicles and thinking there is no need to buckle-in due to the greater size of their vehicle over smaller commuter vehicles around them?