Seat Belt Wearing is a Cultural Phenomenon.

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Or, at least, not wearing them appears to be.

In Minnesota, 7% of drivers don’t wear seat belts. About 30% of the fatalities in car crashes are people not wearing seat belts. For every 76 people injured in a traffic accident, one is killed.

Who the hell doesn’t wear seat belts?

Turns out it is mostly young, unmarried men driving pickup trucks.

In a related matter, it is common for studies such as those that look at traffic data to become available long after the fact. Today, the Minnesota report to which I refer cam out, updated only through 2018. So well over a half year. At the same time, the AAA Foundation came out with their latest report, studying information collected through 2017.

I think this is more a matter of expectation than need. In the old days, when everything was pen and paper, you were lucky to get two year old data. People in agencies that handle the data are accustom to a large lag, and seem rarely if ever, encouraged to be more up to date. Traffic data does come from a wide range of sources, but most of it is reported by local agencies monthly, and it can not be too difficult to have an updated if not perfectly corrected database that is never more than 60-90 days old. Studies that do the same thing with the data every year can be boiler plated. Other fields do this. You should see the amount of data that is merely days old that comes out in epidemiology.

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3 thoughts on “Seat Belt Wearing is a Cultural Phenomenon.

  1. Traffic data does come from a wide range of sources, but most of it is reported by local agencies monthly, and it can not be too difficult to have an updated if not perfectly corrected database that is never more than 60-90 days old.

    One issue that still arises is the lack of consistency in the way different organizations store data. One of the biggest things our data students have to accomplish is data prep/organization before any analysis or modeling can be done. It takes some time.

  2. BFD! I have never seen good statistics on the safety of seatbelts, but I don’t have to…just really think about it!! It does not even take much effort, but it helps that I don’t believe in ghosts protecting me from harm, or that I’m so very special & can drive so much better than others…delusions will get you killed!

  3. I had a real “right-wing” friend who wouldn’t have wore a seat if it hadn’t the law – because – she didn’t like the government telling her what to do.

    Go figure

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