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NHTSA Kicks Off Click It or Ticket Campaign Targeting Seat Belt Use in Nighttime, Rural Crashes

Of the passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2022, more than half were unbelted in nighttime crashes

| Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration today launched its annual Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement campaign, reminding the public to buckle up on every trip and emphasizing seat belt use at night and in rural areas. 

NHTSA Deputy Administrator Sophie Shulman previewed a new TV ad aimed at rural populations, where seat belt use has lagged. In 2022, 58% of passenger vehicle occupants killed in rural traffic crashes at night were unbelted, compared to 56% in urban areas. 

Joining Deputy Administrator Shulman for today’s kickoff event were Susan Hipp, the Executive Director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety; Fred Haas, the Safety Manager for Geisinger EMS in Danville, Pennsylvania; Andre French, the Chief of Police for the Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, Regional Police Department; and Natasha Grau, a crash survivor from Ohio. 

This year’s campaign comes as lack of seat belt use — especially at night and in rural areas — continues to be a problem. Despite steady improvements, more than 11,000 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in 2022 were unbelted, and 57% of those killed were unbelted in nighttime crashes, according to the most recent data from NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis

“The decision to not buckle up could be a fatal one. Wearing a seat belt is a simple step that can keep drivers and passengers safe,” Deputy Administrator Shulman said. “While we’ve made progress over the years, seat belt use still varies by time of day, region and demographics. Through NHTSA’s Click It or Ticket campaign, we’re urging everyone to wear their seat belt, even on short trips or when no other vehicles are on the road.” 

The effort is supported by an $11.2 million public awareness advertising campaign to encourage drivers and passengers to always buckle up when they are in a vehicle. The paid media campaign, which includes TV, radio, digital and social media ads in English and Spanish, launched on May 13 and runs through June 2. In addition, state and local law enforcement agencies will work together during a heightened enforcement period from May 20 through June 2 to help keep communities safe and remind drivers of the importance of buckling up.

The campaign also seeks to target seat belt use among passenger vehicle occupants ages 18-34 years old, particularly men within that age group as they are most likely to be involved in a fatal unbelted crash. 

In 2022, 63% of passenger vehicle occupants ages 18-34 who were killed in nighttime crashes were unrestrained. Among male passenger vehicle occupants ages 18-34 who were killed in nighttime crashes that same year, 66% were not buckled up, compared to 57% of women in that age group. 

Earlier this year, the Department published its 2024 Progress Report on the National Roadway Safety Strategy, two years after the January 2022 release of the original NRSS. The Departmentwide adoption of the safe system approach remains the foundation of the NRSS’ implementation and is pivotal to addressing the fatality crisis on our roads. The progress report provides an update on the Department’s efforts to address serious and fatal injuries on our roadways and details the Department’s accomplishments under the NRSS in 2023. 

For more information on seat belt safety, please visit

NHTSA 202-366-9550