Safety belt use in the United States has reached 79 percent — the highest level in the nation's history according to a new statistical analysis released on November 20 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study noted that forty states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico achieved higher safety belt use rates in 2003 than the year before. Now ranking among the top five jurisdictions for safety belt use are the state of Washington (94.8 percent use); Hawaii (91.8 percent use); California (91.2 percent use); Oregon (90.4 percent use); and Maryland (87.9 percent use). The five states achieving the greatest gains in safety belt use this year are Alaska, with a 13.1 percentage point gain; Arizona, with a 12.5 percentage point gain; Massachusetts, with a 10.7 percentage point gain; Indiana, with a 10.1 percentage point gain; and Idaho, with an 8.8 percentage point gain.