Seatbelt Usage in Alaska
Wearing seatbelts in Alaska has been the law since 1990. However, it became a state that allowed primary enforcement in 2006. This means that a police officer can stop a vehicle just for someone not wearing their seatbelt. This has been proven to increase the rate of people wearing their seatbelts.
In Alaska, all occupants age 16 and up must wear seatbelts regardless of whether they are in the front or rear seats. A fine of $15 may be imposed on anyone not wearing one. In addition, any child under age one or weighing less than 20 pounds must be in a rear-facing child safety seat. Once they reach age one through age three, they must be kept in a front-facing seat and age 4 to 15 who weigh less than 65 pounds must be in a booster seat.
The percentage of people wearing seatbelts had increased from 2007 when it was 82.4 percent to 2014 at 88.4 percent. The percent went up by 2.3 percent from 2013 to 2014. Alaska, in general, has a lower rate of motor vehicle deaths than the national average, which is improved by the use of seatbelts. Alaska has a rate of 88 percent which is above the US average of 86 percent.
More people in cars and SUVs buckle up than those who ride in pickup trucks. Those wearing seatbelts on the weekends are slightly higher than those wearing them during the week, but both groups are above 90 percent nationwide. It dips slightly during rush hour to 89.9 percent. In addition, occupants in urban areas have a slightly higher percentage of seatbelt usage than those in rural areas. Alaska is considered to be part of the West region, which has the highest rates of seatbelts being worn overall at 95 percent.