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 |  Jun 02 2010, 10:01 AM

The Click It or Ticket seatbelt safety campaign is in full force, and this summer, the focus of law enforcement officers will be on night time drivers who fail to buckle up. That’s right – justice never sleeps!

One of the most successful highway safety campaigns in U.S. history, the Click It or Ticket message this year is that seat belts need to be worn at night as well as during the day. The reasoning behind the added twist is based on data that shows that drivers are less likely to wear seat belts after dark because it’s more difficult for police to spot whether or not they’ve buckled up. There are numbers to back this up – in 2008, 64 percent of the people killed in accidents after 6 p.m. were not wearing their seat belts. Compare that to 48 percent of drivers not wearing a seat belt that died in daytime accidents.

Other interesting stats to note, courtesy of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, shows that 38 people not wearing seat belts die in car crashes daily, and the highest rate of unbelted death are among young men and pickup truck drivers.

Use of seat belts in cars gained popularity in the 1960s, about a decade after studies debunked the popular belief that most car-accident fatalities were caused by the accordion-like collapse of their cars. It took several more years before seatbelts became optional items in most cars and even longer before they were mandatory. Even though wearing them was the law, it didn’t mean that drivers used them. By 1980, 11 percent of Americans used them. Compare that to 84 percent of drivers who use them today.

[Source: Kicking Tires]