WKYT Interactive | Seat belt usage big factor in deadly crashes

Published: Feb. 1, 2019 at 10:36 AM EST
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The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety has released its 2018 highway death statistics, and seat belt usage plays a big role in surviving collisions.

New numbers show highway deaths are down 7.7 percent in 2018, as 722 people died compared to 782 in 2017. This continues a two-year trend of decreased deaths, as there were 834 deaths in 2016. 2018's number is still preliminary, and the state will release a final report in April.

Statistics show seat belt usage plays a big role in saving lives. While there is an 89.9 percent seat belt usage rate in Kentucky, more than half of all deadly crashes involved people not using a seat belt.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed that this year we observed that seat belt usage increased and fatalities decreased," Kentucky Office of Highway Safety acting executive director Jason Siwula said.

2013 had the fewest number of Kentucky highway deaths this decade with 638.