NATIONAL SURVEY OF OCCUPANT SAFETY REVEALS LAPSES IN BELT USE

A national telephone survey on occupant protection issues was conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Its purpose was to gather information to help the agency develop and implement effective countermeasures to improve highway safety. More than 8,000 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey. There were two questionnaires, each given to about 4,000 randomly selected persons age 16 and older. One questionnaire focused on safety belt usage and issues. The other focused on child safety seats. They also contained sections on crash experience, bicycle and motorcycle helmet usage, airbags, drinking and driving, and speed. Data were weighted to national estimates. Results from the survey show that 23% of the population age 16 and older have been injured in a vehicle accident that required medical attention. This translates into more than 45 million youths and adults. Among those injured, 61% had injuries that prevented them from performing at least some of their normal activities for at least a week, while 13% were unable to resume one or more activities a year after the crash. Three-fourths of drivers said they use safety belts all of the time when driving, but a conspicuous proportion of these "full-time" users also acknowledged recent lapses in their belt use. Nearly half (47%) of drivers over 15 have driven a vehicle with a child passenger under the age of 6 in the past year. Yet almost two-thirds of these drivers did not actually have a child of this age living in their household. This suggests that programs to increase car seat use should expand their targets beyond parents and caregivers to reach many of the people who transport young children. Reported use of car seats drops precipitously as children grow larger, with "all time users" falling from 92% of those weighing between 20 and 29 pounds to 29% of those weighing 40 to 49 pounds.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: 2 p.
  • Serial:
    • TRAFFIC TECH
    • Issue Number: 117
    • Publisher: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00724853
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-042 095
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 13 1996 12:00AM