Seatbelt Usage in New Hampshire
New Hampshire is the only state in the nation that does not have a seatbelt law in place. However, it does have a law for child safety seats. Anyone who is six years old or younger must be placed in a child safety seat. If someone violates this law, they may have to pay a $50 fine for a first offense.
Because the state has no law for seatbelt wearing, there is only a rate of 69 percent of usage. This compares to 86 percent for the national average. Surprisingly, they have a lower traffic fatality rate than the US average. For the state, the rate is 8.6 while the national average was 10.9 in 2015. This information is according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Even though the state does not have a seatbelt law, usage has grown in recent years. In 2007, the rate of usage was only 63.8 percent. It jumped the next year to 69.2 percent before increasing slowly to 75.0 percent in 2011. It has since fallen slightly back down to 70.4 percent in 2014.
New Hampshire is part of the Northeast region, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This area ranks in third place out of four for seatbelt usage at 88.1 percent. It is ahead of the Midwest, which comes in at 81.7 percent.
Nationwide, more people are likely to buckle up in urban areas than in rural communities. The study by NHTSA shows that a higher rate of use is seen during rush hours than during non-rush hours. The time of the week with the highest rate of use is on the weekends. More people take the time to put on their seatbelts in foggy conditions than in either clear weather or in light precipitation.