Troopers: Washington state tops seat belt use in nation

SEATTLE (AP) - A federal survey suggests that Washington state has the highest use of seat belts among drivers in the country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked Washington at 97.5 percent seat belt usage in 2011. The lowest was Massachusetts at 73.2 percent of usage. The national average was 84 percent.

The Washington State Patrol says it's the seventh year in a row Washington has score 95 percent or higher.

The survey also found that Western states in general have higher seat belt usage than other regions of the country. All Western states combined had 93 percent seat belt usage, compared with 80 percent in the Northeast, 83 percent in the Midwest and 80 percent in the South.