Ottawa, Ontario – Canadians are buckling their seatbelts more than ever, according to a new survey by Transport Canada. Seatbelt usage across the country has risen by almost three per cent in three years, with approximately 95 per cent of Canadians buckling up overall.

That marks a rise from 92 per cent in the previous 2006-2007 surveys. The seatbelt usage rate is lower in rural areas, at 92 per cent, versus 95.8 per cent in urban areas, slightly higher than the national average.

“These surveys indicate that Canada has achieved its goal of 95 per cent seatbelt usage by 2010, a target that the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of transport jointly set a number of years ago,” said Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “While this achievement is significant and encouraging, we can still strive to do better, particularly among certain segments of the population.”

The survey found that seatbelt use is lowest in pickup trucks; that more females than males use seatbelts; that older Canadians have a higher rate of usage than those who are younger; and that back seat occupants use seatbelts less frequently. The survey targeted all the occupants of light-duty vehicles, including passenger cars, light trucks, minivans and SUVs.

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