WASHINGTON, D.C. --- The odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash are three times higher at night, which is when seat belt use declines substantially, new research released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows. To combat this dangerous trend, the annual Click It or Ticket seat belt crackdown campaign -- launched this month by NHTSA Administrator Nicole R. Nason -- will focus on nighttime belt use. "It's alarming that fewer people are buckling up at night, a time when the odds of being killed in a motor vehicle crash triple," Administrator Nason said. "This year, law enforcement officials will be ticketing violators who are not wearing their seat belts, especially during the evening hours." The NHTSA study found that in 2005, more than 15,000 passenger vehicle occupants died in traffic crashes between the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and nearly two-thirds of those killed were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. Additional NHTSA survey data indicate that nighttime seat belt use is often 10 percent lower than the nation-wide average 82 percent daytime belt use. "The annual Click It or Ticket campaign has helped increase seat belt use for over a decade, but despite these gains, too many of our family and friends continue to die on our roadways," said Nason. "Not wearing your seat belt, day or night, is a huge and unnecessary gamble." At the national launch today, Administrator Nason was joined by representatives of NHTSA's Click It or Ticket partners, Chris J. Murphy, chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and James W. McMahon, chief of staff of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The Click It or Ticket campaign takes place between May 21 and June 3, and is supported by a $30 million national and state advertising campaign.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials