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DMV report says Virginia's seat belt usage at all-time high

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Data released Wednesday by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles shows drivers in the state using their seat belts are at all-time high rates.

The report said motorists clicking their belts behind the wheel and riding along is now at 85.3 percent- an increase from the average of 79 percent, according to DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb.

However, the released noted that preliminary readings taken from crashes so far in 2017 show 236 people have died in vehicle crashes statewide that were not properly restrained.

In Southwest Virginia, a total of 12 victims have been claimed in those types of crashes, the report said. The highest rate has occurred in Russell County with three fatalities.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies show seat belt users are 45 percent less likely to be fatally injured in a crash.

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