Md. officials remind passengers to buckle up this summer

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has simple advice to anyone heading out on a road trip this summer: Wear a seat belt no matter where a passenger sits to stay safe. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — On the eve of the summer driving season, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is offering simple advice: Wear a seat belt no matter what seat a passenger chooses.

“Sometimes people just seem like they feel safer if they’re in the back seat; there’s not a reason to buckle up,” said Administrator Chrissie Nizer.

“A back seat passenger unbelted can become a projectile that can hurt or kill a front seat passenger or driver,” Nizer warns.

In the span of five years, 59 percent of all back seat passengers who died in Maryland crashes were not wearing seat belts.

“Overall, Maryland has a 93 percent seat belt usage rate, which is great. But unfortunately when we look at our fatalities about 36 percent of individuals that are killed in automobile crashes were actually unbelted,” Nizer says.

Traffic fatalities rose across the country last year. The number of Maryland traffic deaths jumped nearly 18 percent from 443 in 2014 to 521 last year.

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