Buckle Up

The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and police statewide are serious about seat belt safety. Seat belt use in Delaware is at an all-time high of 92%, yet still far too many people in our state continue to die as a result of being unrestrained when they are involved in a motor vehicle crash.

Throughout the year OHS will fund overtime seat belt enforcement patrols for police departments statewide. Much of the enforcement will occur in the afternoons and evenings when the majority of unrestrained injuries and fatal crashes occur.

The OHS also partners with high schools, the Wilmington Blue Rocks, Dover Air Force Base, the OHS Corporate Partner program, and Dover International Speedway to promote seat belt safety with many fun outreach & community events year round. OHS outreach events include Buckle Up stencil project with high schools, community outreach events that feature the DSP Roll Over Convincer, Racing Limo display, and seat belt quiz games.

OHS Efforts to Increase Seat Belt Use

Seatbelt Surveys - Office of Highway Safety staff members and our highway safety supporters conduct seatbelt surveys throughout the state of Delaware annually. Our first statistically valid survey was conducted in 1998. Our current seatbelt usage rate is 92% compared to the National seat belt rate of 86%.

Year Round Seat belt enforcement - Police agencies in Delaware that have been identified as having a high number of unrestrained crashes in their jurisdictions through OHS's data analysis efforts, may receive a grant from OHS to conduct additional overtime enforcement of the State's seat belt law for a one year period. Enforcement is directed toward high crash locations and scheduled during times of the year when unrestrained crashes peak.

Saved by the seat belt stories - OHS welcomes stories from people who were saved from death or more serious injury because they were wearing their seatbelts. Contact Kaila Dukes at Kaila.Dukes@state.de.us with your story and we may highlight it on our website.

So, buckle up, no excuses. Click It or Ticket.

Delaware Seat Belt Law

  • Everyone in the vehicle, including backseat passengers and children, must wear seat belts properly.
  • Lap and shoulder belts must be worn and shoulder belts must not be placed behind the back or under the arm.
  • The driver will receive a $83.50 ticket for the failure of anyone in the vehicle to buckle up.
  • Throughout the month, officers will be primarily looking for seat belt law violators, but they will also be on the lookout for impaired, aggressive and speeding drivers who - by the very nature of their risk-taking behavior - are less likely to wear seat belts.

Seat Belt Facts:

  • 47% percent of all occupant fatalities in 2013 were unrestrained.
  • March through May are the months with the most unrestrained crashes
  • 24% of unrestrained crashes happen between 3pm and 7pm.
  • Wearing a seat belt increases your chance of surviving a crash by almost 50%, while reducing the severity of injury.
  • 61% of people involved in unrestrained crashes are males.
  • You are four times more likely to be killed in a crash if you are ejected from a vehicle because you are not buckled up.
  • Hospital data shows that unbelted occupants in crashes are 3 times more likely to require a hospital stay. On average, hospital costs for an unbelted crash victim are 55% higher than those for a belted crash victim.
  • Strong seat belt laws protect families. When parents are buckled up, 90% of the time their children are too.