More than 9 of every 10 Delaware adults report that they always use their seatbelts.
According to the 2017 Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), 91.8 percent of adult Delaware residents report that they "always wear seatbelts" when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. A higher percentage of women report always using their seatbelts: 93.4 percent of women vs. 90 percent of men.
The trend in Delaware has been level for the past seven years, at about 92 percent.
There are no statistically significant differences by race/ethnicity. However, by education, the lowest prevalence of seatbelt use (88.2 percent) is among adults with less than a high school education, compared to 95.1% of college graduates who report always using seatbelts. Younger adults are slightly less likely to wear seatbelts than older adults, but the differences are not statistically significant.
An additional 3.6 percent of adults claim they "nearly always" use their seatbelts. So 95.2 percent of Delaware adults report using their seatbelts "always or nearly always."
Delaware's prevalence of 91.8 percent from the BRFS compares well with data from the annual observational study conducted by the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Office of Highway Safety. According to Highway Safety's 2017 observational study, 91.4 percent of motorists driving in Delaware were using their safety belts. For the fourteenth year in a row, Delaware’s seatbelt use rate has exceeded the national use rate, according to Highway Safety.
Self-reported seatbelt use is not as high among high school students. The Delaware Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) asks a random sample of public high school students if they wear a seatbelt when riding in a car driven by someone else. Only 63.1 percent responded "always," with another 23.8 percent saying "most of the time" — for a total of only 86.9 percent of high school students who claim to wear seatbelts "always or most of the time." A slightly higher percentage of female students reported "always" using seatbelts (65.7 percent) than did male students (61 percent).