Seat Belts: A Pilot Study of Their Use Under Normal Driving Conditions

This study was concerned with the actual use of seat belts by drivers observed when they passed a slow-moving panel truck in which the researchers rode. A total of 1,052 vehicles was observed, but final calculations were based on the 709 cases in which it was possible to judge definitely the age of the car, the registration of the car (in-state or out-of-state), the race and sex of the driver, and whether or not the driver wore a seat belt. Seat belt usage was found to be related to several factors. First, the driver of a newer car (1964 and later) was more likely to be observed wearing a belt (32% of newer cars vs. 14% of older). All newer cars are equipped with seat belts. Second, drivers of cars bearing out-of-state license plates were more likely to be using belts than those driving instate cars (36% of out-of-state vs. 24% of in-state). Third, white drivers were more likely to be wearing belts than nonwhite drivers (28% of whites vs. 10% of nonwhites). Fourth, and perhaps most surprising, male drivers were more likely to be wearing belts than female drivers (30% of men vs. 18% of women). However, for all groups there was great room for improvement. Only slightly more than one-fourth of the observed drivers were using belts at all, and when only newer cars were considered, this figure rose to only 32%. There is a great need for educational efforts on behalf of belt usage, and perhaps for particular efforts aimed specifically toward nonwhites and women. Factors which were investigated but were not found to be significantly related to belt usage were the age of the driver (estimated), the presence or absence of passengers. and urban versus non-urban locale.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 18p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01115426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 3 2008 1:38PM