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Adult Seatbelt Use Continues
To Be High in Delaware


seatbelt iconMore than 9 of every 10 Delaware adults report that they always use their seatbelts.

According to the 2018 Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), 90.5 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:  93.9 percent of women vs. 86.7 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 (88.6 percent) is among adults with a high school education, compared to 93.6 percent of college graduates who report always using seatbelts.  Younger adults wear seatbelts less often than older adults: 85.8 percent of 18-24 report always wearing a seatbelt compared to 93.6 percent of adults age 65 and older. This difference is statistically significant.

An additional 4.4 percent of adults claim they "nearly always" use their seatbelts.  That means 94.9 percent of Delaware adults report using their seatbelts "always or nearly always."

Delaware's prevalence of 90.5 percent of Delaware adults 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 2018 observational study, 92 percent of motorists driving in Delaware were using their safety belts. Delaware's seatbelt use rate has continued to exceed the national use rate, according to Highway Safety.

Student Seatbelt Use

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 responded "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).

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