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Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 01/ 4/2011

CDC: Seat belt use reaches 85%

By Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Nearly six in seven U.S. adults now wear seat belts, an increase in driver safety that health officials say has helped cut motor vehicle deaths and injuries.

About 85 percent of adults said they wear seat belts in a 2008 survey, up from less than 81 percent in 2002. Only 11 percent wore them in 1982, before the first state law requiring seat belt use.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reported Tuesday a decline of more than 15 percent in non-fatal vehicle crash injuries from 2001 to 2009. The government previously reported traffic fatalities fell in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden has designated auto injuries as one of his six "winnable battle" priorities.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in September that traffic deaths were at their lowest level in 60 years.

Increased seat-belt use was one of several factors cited by officials for the drop.

The CDC report

By Associated Press  | January 4, 2011; 12:28 PM ET
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