Seatbelt usage among drivers and front-seat passengers in the state has increased to 95.2 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
IDOT announced the record-high usage was an increase of 1.1 percentage points from last year’s 94.1 percent.
“More and more Illinois drivers are getting the message that something as simple as buckling up every time you get into a vehicle saves lives,” said Illinos Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “This is great news and an encouraging trend, but we still have more work to do. To get the usage rate even higher and save even more lives on Illinois roadways, we will look to strengthen our partnerships with law enforcement on safety campaigns and continue searching for creative new ways to get out the message on the importance of using your seat belt.”
IDOT estimates 377 lives were saved on Illinois roads because of the seat belt usage.
IDOT conducted its annual survey of 155,175 front seat occupants on high-volume and low-volume roads to determine the seat belt usage rate. The survey does not include back seat passengers, but data from the survey of back seat passengers is expected to be available in October, IDOT said.
Illinois has had a mandatory seat belt law since 1985. Since 2012, all back seat passengers in Illinois also have been required to use seat belts.