LANSING — Michigan State Police are cracking down on drivers who don’t wear seat belts.

The increased watch for unbuckled seat belts comes as part of Michigan’s ongoing enforcement and education campaign, ‘Click it or Ticket,’ to remind drivers to buckle up. The fall enforcement period begins Oct. 17 and runs through Oct. 31.

In Michigan, seat belt use currently stands at 94.4 percent, higher than the national seat belt use rate of 89.6 percent, according to the latest Office of Highway Safety Patrol statistics.

Nationally, seat belts have saved more than 340,000 lives since 1976 when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration first began recording this data, according to Michigan State Police. Officials said if everyone had been wearing a seat belt since then, an additional 381,787 lives could have been saved.

The Michigan State Police is advising the following for drivers:

  • The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the hips and shoulder, which are more able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
  • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
  • Never put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.