Libertarian/conservative small-government fruitcake New Hampshire doesn’t have a mandatory seatbelt law for adults. The New Hampshire seatbelt use rate is 75%.*
Neighboring Massachusetts, the Northeastern bastion of progressivism and Laws-Will-Fix-It-ism, has a mandatory seatbelt law. The Massachusetts seatbelt use rate is 73.20%.*
Is it that we New Hampshirites have enough common sense that we don’t need the threat of a fine to think buckling up is a pretty good idea, or is it that our Massachusetts neighbors are so much less responsible that they do need that threat to have a seatbelt use rate that’s almost as good as ours?
Of course, you can’t argue this with a fan of mandatory seatbelt laws. They’d take one look at the numbers and claim that a.) NH’s rate would be even better with a mandatory seatbelt law, and that b.) MA’s would be ever so much worse without it, thereby proving the need for it.
*Source for the compliance rate data: NHTSA data for 2011, the most recent year available.