Tennessee Highway Safety Office Reports State’s Third-Highest Annual Usage Rate
TENNESSEE – Monday, the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) announced results from its annual roadside observational survey to determine the state’s average seat belt usage rate. This survey returned a statewide usage rate of 90.49 percent. The 2022 usage rate represents an increase of approximately 0.4 percent compared to Tennessee’s 2021 survey result of 90.12 percent. The 2022 survey result is Tennessee’s third-highest annual seat belt usage rate.
“Seat belts save lives,” said THSO Director Buddy Lewis. “The purpose of this annual survey is to help the THSO and traffic safety partners identify the demographics and areas of the state most in need of support to increase seat belt usage. Our goal is to reach as many drivers as possible to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities across Tennessee.”
Highlights from Tennessee’s 2022 seat belt survey are as follows.
• Research data was collected at 190 pre-identified roadway locations across Tennessee.
• Researchers observed almost 26,000 vehicle occupants.
• Vehicles observed included passenger cars, pickup trucks, vans, and SUVs.
• The highest belt usage rate was observed among occupants in sport utility vehicles (96.0 percent).
• The lowest belt usage rate was observed among occupants in pickup trucks (80.6 percent).
• Female occupants were observed to have a higher usage rate (96.2 percent) than males (86.4 percent).
• Front-seat passengers were observed to have a higher usage rate (92.2 percent) than drivers (90.2 percent).
• County-level usage rates exceeded 90 percent in 12 of 16 counties included in the survey’s sample.
• Shelby County’s average usage rate (88.8 percent) in 2022 increased by 10.7 percent over its observational survey result in 2021.
This data was collected through an annual roadside observational survey conducted by the University of Tennessee’s Center for Transportation Research during the spring of 2022 in accordance with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Uniform Criteria for State Observational Surveys of Seat Belt Use. For more information, call 615-767-3242 or go to Arriale.Tabson@TN.Gov.
The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security’s mission is to serve, secure, and protect the people of Tennessee.