More Americans Buckling Up Than Ever

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The clicking of seat belt buckles is an increasingly common sound as American motorists take to the road, the federal government reported Monday.

A survey conducted in June found that seat belt use in the United States was at 79 percent, four percentage points higher than a year earlier and above a goal of 78 percent by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Associated Press reports.

Dr. Jeffrey Runge, NHTSA administrator, was to present the numbers at a meeting of the Governor’s Highway Safety Association in New Orleans.

The survey found that users of sport utility vehicle and vans have the highest use rates, at 83 percent, while pickup truck drivers have the lowest rates, at 69 percent.

Seat belt usage was highest in the West, at 84 percent, and the South, at 80 percent. It was lowest in the Midwest, at 75 percent, and the Northeast, at 74 percent.

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