MISSOURI (KFVS) - Safety belt usage in Missouri has slowly risen over the past 17 years, but residents of the show-me-state could be better.
81% of Missourians put on a seat belt when they get in the car. The national average is 90%.
May 22-June 4 the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement in the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign.
"Safety belts decrease your risk of dying in a crash by 45%," reports Missouri Highway Patrol Superintendent Sandra Karsten.
"Last year alone," she adds, "943 lives were lost in Missouri crashes--64% of them being unrestrained."
It's the driver's duty to make sure all passengers are buckled before driving. The coalition also reminds everyone to keep their phones down when behind the wheel to reduce the risk of a crash.