Night crashes, no seat belts equal more fatalities

Friday, May 23, 2008

WASHINGTON -- More than two-thirds of young drivers and passengers killed in nighttime car crashes aren't wearing seat belts -- proof of what can happen when young people don't heed parents' pleas and authorities' threats to "click it."

Though seat belt use actually is rising slightly nationwide, fatality figures published Monday offered a somber contrast as law enforcement launched its annual pre-Memorial Day drive to persuade Americans to buckle up.

Sixty-eight percent of drivers and passengers between the ages of 16 and 20 who were killed in car crashes at night in 2006 were unbuckled, said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. During daytime, 57 percent of the young motorists and passengers who were killed were not wearing seat belts.

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