We are always told that seat belts have been proven to save lives, so why is it that a recent study found Michiganders have been decreasingly using theirs...so much so our compliance rate is the lowest it's been in 17 years.

Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP)

According to a release from Michigan OHSP, a "grant-funded direct observation study" that was done by Michigan State University found that Michigan's seat belt rate dropped from where it was in 2019 at 94.4 percent to 92.6 percent this year.

Get our free mobile app

While that may not seem like a big jump, it's actually a big deal when it comes to the amount of traffic deaths.

FOX 47 News reports that the Michigan OHSP office confirmed with the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center that in 2020, there were over 1,000 traffic deaths...which that hadn't happened in three years until then.

"Every 1 percent increase in seat belt use means an estimated 10 fewer traffic deaths and 100 fewer serious injuries," Michigan OHSP stated. 

Statewide Seatbelt Campaigns

Many of us are probably familiar with the infamous "Click It Or Ticket" campaigns presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Now, FOX 47 says Michigan OHSP is funding it's own campaign across the state.

"To help address the situation, the OHSP is funding a statewide campaign through July 24 to enforce seat belt and impaired-driving laws." MI OHSP said in a release. "The OHSP also has a paid advertising effort encouraging rear seat belt use, including a video titled “Backseat Excuses."

All in all, those two seconds it takes to click in your seat belt has proven to be worth it...especially when compared to what can happen if you don't.

Now if you do choose to safely go out and drive, here are some of Michigan's must-drive roads:

50 of Michigan's "Must-Drive" Roads

Gas up the car, grab those road munchies and a roadtrip partner that you can trust, and head out on some of Michigan's most unique roads and routes. Make sure you take lots of photos and video!

And why not look at every other state's while we're at it:

See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State