Seatbelt Usage in Connecticut
According to research, 87 percent of vehicle occupants wear seatbelts when they travel. This is slightly above the national average of 86 percent. As part of the Northeast region, Connecticut is in the third place group for overall usage of seatbelts.
The state has had a seatbelt law in effect since January 1986. At that time, it implemented the law allowing it to be a primary enforcement state. This means a police officer can stop a person for no other reason than the fact that they are not wearing their seatbelt. It can result in a $15 fine.
Connecticut also has a law for child safety seats. Anyone younger than one year must be in a rear-facing seat. They will then switch to a front-facing seat until they are six, when they can move to the front seat. However, if the passenger airbag is active, children 11 years old or younger must be in the rear seat.
Connecticut has remained steady with seatbelt usage since 2007 with periods of decline. For instance, in 2007, the state has a rate of 85.8 percent of people wearing seatbelts. This number increased in 2008 to 88.0 percent before dropping back down to 85.9 percent. The year 2014 saw a slightly lower rate at 85.1 percent of people wearing seatbelts. Overall, the state has a lower rate of traffic fatalities than other states. For Connecticut, this is a rate of 7.4 per 100,000 population as compared to the US average of 10.9.
More rural people fail to wear seatbelts than those living in urban areas nationwide. Statistics also show that usage of seatbelts is lower during rush hour than at other times during the weekday or on the weekend. More people in vans, SUVs, and cars buckle up than those who ride in pickup trucks.