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Report: 16 percent of Virginians don’t wear seat belts

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RICHMOND, Va. — While seat belts have been federally mandated in cars since 1968, a new study shows that 16 percent of Virginians still do not wear their seat belt in 2018.

The study from the Department of Motor Vehicles also said that 308 Virginia motorists who were not wearing their seat belt died in 2017. Officials added that in recent years, more than half of the people who died in Virginia crashes in vehicles equipped with safety restraints were not using them.

“As long as Virginians continue to lose their lives on our roadways because they are not wearing their seat belts, we still have work to do,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “Look at the statistics — wearing a seat belt is simple, effective, and can save your life.”

As for the percentage of drivers that use seat belts in Virginia, it is 84.1 percent, down from 85.3 percent in 2017.

“We need your help to reach our goal of 100 percent seat belt usage in Virginia. Always buckle up and make sure everyone in your vehicle is properly secured,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “It only takes a second, and it very well may save your life or the life of someone you love.”

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