Insurance Institute for Highway Safety runs seat belt evaluations in pickup trucks
GREENE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Greene County conducted a new study regarding people who drive bigger vehicles that says they have a tendency to not buckle their seat belts.
On the roads, 25 percent of vehicles are pickup trucks. People feel as though they are much safer in bigger vehicles, but unfortunately, that is not the case if people aren't buckled in a crash.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Greene County has been running seat belt evaluations for a little more than a year specifically on pickup trucks.
IIHS suggests manufacturers install better alarms that sound long enough until people buckle up.
"Pickup truck occupants typically, well not typically, compared to normal vehicle passenger cars, they don't buckle up as much," said Sean O’Malley, the Senior Test Coordinator at IIHS. "Pickup truck drivers think they are safer being in a large truck. Other than that, there is no real reason."
The institute also gave a list of vehicles in which people are most likely to not buckle up including the Toyota Tundra, Ram 1500, and Ford F-150.
"We've done research that shows that with seat belt reminders, people who forget to belt, to buckle up, will in fact buckle up," said O’Malley.
According to IIHS, seat belt use is well above 90 percent, but it says louder and longer reminders could save up to 1,500 lives per year.
It is important to make sure occupants are buckled because in the event of a crash, no matter the vehicle, that seat belt could save lives.