This study provides an anlysis of the determinants of seat belt use for automobile drivers in the State of North Carolina. A Factor Analysis and Random Utility model are offered to capture the attributes of seat belt use that plausibly govern the choice to use them or not. The principal findings are (1) Enforcement measures such as the levying of fines for not wearing a seat belt are effective in encouraging seat belt use, and (2) There are racial differences in the response to enforcement measures in that relative to nonBlack drivers, Black drivers are more sensitive to seat belt enforcement measures. The second hypothesis that was tested was the relationship of risk taking to seat belt usage. In the random utility model, it was found that an index of risk taking was negatively related to seat belt usage. Further, a hedonic wage model indicated that belt usage was also highly significant. Interestingly, belt usage for Blacks was associated with lower wage jobs, while belt usage for the sample as a whole was associated with higher wage positions. This is evidence that tends to confirm the hypothesis that risk taking (as indicated by seat belt usage) is related to the level of risk a person will accept on the job. Another theory is that the level of wages is a surrogate for age and education and that more highly educated and older Whites use seat belts but this is not true of Blacks.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program, through Southeastern Transportation Center, Region IV, STC Project No. 23385-026.
  • Corporate Authors:

    North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro

    Transportation Institute
    Greensboro, NC  United States  27411
  • Authors:
    • Benjamin, J M
    • Price, G
    • Reinfurt, D
  • Publication Date: 1996-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00724693
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 16 1996 12:00AM