Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida

According to a 2021 survey by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), statewide use of safety belts increased slightly, from 89.8% in 2019 to 90.1% in 2021. Of the 18 counties in FDOT District Two, three were surveyed in 2021. Safety belt use in Northeast Florida increased in two out of the three counties surveyed. We are proud of these Alachua and St. Johns counties for making the list of high-usage counties!

Survey Results in 2021 for Safety Belt Use in Northeast Florida and Statewide

Usage Rates:
• Alachua County 95%
• St Johns County 92.1%
• Statewide Average 90.1%
• Duval County 87.3%

Alachua County Safety Belt Use Rates Highest in Florida

Congratulations, Alachua County, for having the highest usage rates in the state again! Survey results showed that Alachua equaled its highest-ever use rates, at 95.0%, and ranked #1 overall statewide. Alachua has been a long-time winner with buckling up. We are proud of Alachua for consistently remaining at the top of usage rates in Florida.  

St. Johns County Rates Highly in Safety Belt Use

Kudos to St. Johns County for maintaining an above-average usage rate. St. Johns came in at the fifth-highest county in the state with a 92.1% safety belt use rate (a tie with Lee County). Since 2018, St. Johns has rated over 90% safety belt use.

Duval County Safety Belt Use Needs Improvement

We have work to do in Duval County! Of the 2021 counties surveyed, Duval ranked the secondlowest safety belt use rate in the state, at 87.3% (followed only by Volusia at 84.%). Plans are for extensive efforts to provide resources, tools, and support to Duval County by educating others on the importance of buckling up. The FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) has many occupant protection resources on its website and social media platforms.


Other Survey Results and Trends

Florida’s 2021 survey results show safety belt use differed by road type. Motorists on higher speed roads are buckling up more, while usage on local, lower speed roads are least likely buckled up. The highest use of safety belts was on interstate highways, at 93.1%, followed by principal arterials at 91.9%. The lowest usage was on local roads, at 87.6%, and minor arterials at 87.3%.

Safety belt usage also differed by vehicle type. Occupants in pickup trucks have exhibited lower usage than those in other vehicle types every year of the survey. SUV occupants frequently used their safety belts at 93.7%, car occupants at 90%, van occupants at 89.9%, and pickup occupants at 81.6%.

Survey results consistently indicated that females were more likely to wear a safety belt every year. In 2021, 92.9% of females buckled up, versus men, at 87.6%.

Occupants ages 35–39 buckled up 91.8% of the time, and those ages 16–34 buckled up the least, at 88.7%. Prior surveys show a similar pattern in usage among age groups. 

Overall, safety belt usage has shown an upward trend over time. The 2021 results indicate progress in use among occupants traveling on higher-speed roadways and certain types of vehicles (SUVs). Results also indicate where improvement is still needed among the low belt use groups, including occupants of pickup trucks, black occupants, and occupants traveling on lower-speed roadways.

FDOT State Safety Office administered the annual survey. State survey sites and locations were based on recent traffic fatality counts in 15 Florida counties. Click here to view the Safety Belt Use in Florida 2021 Final Report. (Note: No survey was conducted in 2020.)


One-Click Does the Trick for Occupant Protection

  • Wear your seat belt for every ride.
  • Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.
  • Secure children in a proper child safety seat.
  • Safety belt use isn’t just a good idea; IT’S THE LAW.

Your Traffic Safety Team provides a large variety of occupant protection materials via our website and social media channels.

Resources include:

Safety Belt Law History

In 1986, Florida implemented its first adult safety belt law. Safety belt use before the law was at 22% statewide. From 1999 to 2004, Florida’s use rate increased from 59% to just over 76% due to FDOT’s “Click It or Ticket” campaign and other efforts across the state. In 2009, Florida passed a primary enforcement safety belt bill, and safety belt use has increased since the law’s passage. Working together, we can continue to increase safety belt use and reduce fatalities and injuries on our roadways.

“Always Buckle Up … for Your Family. For Yourself. For LIFE.” 
No Regrets When You BUCKLE UP!

Be Tough Enough To Buckle Up!

Florida Traffic Safety Coalitions

Florida’s statewide traffic safety coalitions and programs focus on strategies to reduce serious injuries and fatalities on our roadways through teamwork and partnerships in addressing traffic safety locally, regionally, and statewide. These coalitions support Florida’s State Highway Strategic Plan (SHSP) emphasis areas and bring partners together to analyze data, create strategic action plans, implement programs, and monitor performance. Traffic safety is most effective when employing measures of engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency response as well as information intelligence, innovation, insight into communities, and investment and policies. Coalition members include community officials, agencies, advocacy groups, business partners, and membership organizations.

2021 Florida Traffic Safety Coalition and Resource Center Contact List and Information
2021 Florida Traffic Safety Coalition Campaign Calendar


Coalitions:

Florida Impaired Driving Coalition logo

Florida Impaired Driving Coalition:
The FIDC was formed in 2009 to identify and prioritize impaired driving issues and develop a plan to maximize the State’s ability to impact these crashes.

Ride Smart Florida logo

Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition:
Ride Smart Florida is a resource for motorcyclists that includes education and training, safety strategies, motorcycle data, and more. It provides support to local communities and motorcycle clubs through access to public service announcements, motorcycle‐related statistics, rider education information, and links to other websites related to motorcycle safety.

Florida Occupant Protection logo

Florida Occupant Protection Coalition:
The FOPC was formed to identify and prioritize Florida’s occupant protection issues by reviewing proven strategies and discussing promising new practices.

Alert Today Alive Tomorrow logo

Florida Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Coalition:
FDOT’s “Alert Today Alive Tomorrow” campaign is presented via TV, radio, social media, transit advertising, local education, and enforcement activities. The message that “Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident” is a reminder for all roadway users to pay attention and follow the rules of the road.

Safe Mobility for Life logo

Florida’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition:
This coalition’s mission is to implement a strategic plan to increase safety, access, and mobility for aging road users and eliminate fatalities and reduce serious injuries.

Teen Safe Driving coalition

Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition:
This coalition was formed to establish a culture of a safe teen driving by engaging, educating, and mobilizing all members of a community to work collectively to develop and improve safe teen driving programs, practices, and activities.

TRCC

Florida Traffic Records Coordinating Committee:
This committee brings together agencies that are interested in reducing traffic injuries and deaths by improving the timeliness, accuracy, completeness, uniformity, integration, and accessibility of traffic records data.

Florida Traffic Safety Resource Centers:

Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center

Florida Occupant Protection Resource Center:
This center was created to be a one-stop resource center that provides equipment, educational, and promotional materials on all aspects identified by FDOT as critical strategic highway safety occupant safety elements.

Ped Bike Resource Center

Florida’s Pedestrian & Bicycling Safety Resource Center:
This center promotes safe pedestrian and bicycling activities for citizens and visitors, young and old, through educational materials and information to advocate groups in the state.


Northeast FDOT CTSP and the Florida traffic safety coalitions plan and maintain projects. They also review crash data to evaluate the SHSP progress. Members identify relationships between contributing factors, including time/day, demographics, driver behaviors, environmental and roadway conditions, high risk locations, and emerging issues in key emphasis areas. Click here to read the Florida SHSP, Target Zero Fatalities & Serious Injuries.

Ride Safe Activity Cards

The Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Program (CTSP) distributed 15,000 Ride Safe Activity Cards throughout all 18 counties of FDOT District Two in May 2021. They are available for free at your local library.

Seat Belts Save Lives activity cards
Ride Safe Activity Cards – Buckle Up Activity Card with Occupant Protection and Child Passenger Safety Tips

Libraries are a wonderful place for community members to access educational and informational resources at no cost, and for our Community Traffic Safety Teams to promote key traffic safety messages, like driving safe, always wearing your safety belt, stopping distracted driving and sharing the road. This Ride Safe activity card is double-sided with a car safety crossword and child safety seat maze activity.

Seat Belts Save Lives activity card

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Ride Safe, Occupant Protection resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

The FDOT District Two covers 18 counties, from rural to urban communities. Our Northeast Florida CTSP has partnered with local, county public library systems for many years. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

Ride Safe: Remember to Always Buckle Up for Every Car Ride!

This Ride Safe Activity Card, occupant protection and child passenger safety, free educational resource is part of a series. The Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below, and Walk Safe will be distributed this Fall. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders.