U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week announced the 2011 Click It or Ticket mobilization with a reminder to motorists about the severe risks of driving unbelted, day or night. In a surprising statistic, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) research shows that fewer people buckle their seat belts at night, making evening hours especially dangerous. In 2009, 62 percent of nighttime vehicle occupants who were killed in crashes were unbelted. In contrast, 44 percent of daytime occupants who were killed were unrestrained. NHTSA Administrator David Strickland cautioned that holiday periods, like the Memorial Day weekend, are unusually dangerous for unbelted motorists. Of the 306 people who died on U.S. roads during the 2009 Memorial Day period, 55 percent were unbelted. NHTSA researchers estimate that in 2009 seat belts saved 12,713 lives. But if all passenger vehicle occupants involved in crashes had worn seat belts, an additional 3,688 lives could have been saved. Young people and males are especially at risk of dying in a traffic crash in which they’re unbelted. In 2009, the age groups 21 to 24 and 25 to 34 each had 64 percent passenger vehicle occupant fatality rates, among the highest percentages of unrestrained fatalities. Fifty-eight percent of males who died in a crash were unrestrained versus 44 percent for females. The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.