Lincoln psychologist analyzes why people don't wear seat belts

Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 3:22 PM CST
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The Nebraska State Patrol is reporting 239 crash fatalities since Dec. 15, 9 fatalities higher than all of last year.

According to NDOT, 64 percent of traffic deaths were people who were not wearing a seat belt.

A Lincoln psychologist said in her 14 years of practicing in Lincoln, she's had several conversations about people not wearing a seat belt.

"It was a young couple about to get married. She wants him to wear a seat belt and he says no," psychologist Gerry Merck said.

Merck said she uses a method to get people to wear their seat belts called motivational interviewing.

"I wouldn't tell them it might be beneficial. I would ask them the right questions to lead them to decide that it might be beneficial," Merck said.

She also said people drive over the speed limit when roads are snowy or icy.

She believes these people are risk takers and get an adrenaline rush from being better than others.

NDOT said year-to-date, traffic deaths are up 8 percent from the five year average.