This study is the latest in a series begun in the 1980s documenting safety belt use rates in Virginia. The report describes the methodology used for site selection and data collection and adds the results of the December 2002 survey to those of surveys conducted previously. The December 2002 survey was initiated by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles solely to evaluate safety belt use campaigns conducted in the fall of 2002. The official Virginia safety belt use survey is conducted in early summer each year, and the 2002 Virginia data are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in another report ("Safety Belt and Motorcycle Helmet Use in Virginia: The 2002 Update"). The December 2002 survey was conducted beginning December 2 and ending December 18, with rescheduling of "rained out" sites during the week ending December 23. Since the winter survey was conducted during a time period when days were very short and during which daylight savings time was not in effect, some of the later sites could not be surveyed due to darkness. New times were randomly selected for these sites during daylight hours. Thus, differences between use rates in 2002 and in other years may be attributable to seasonal differences in travel patterns and restraint/helmet use, rather than solely to changes in driver and occupant behavior. The results show that Virginia's December 2002 safety belt use rate was 71.1% and its motorcycle helmet use rate was 95.7%. In each of the 10 years of the survey, virtually all of the motorcycle drivers and passengers observed were using a helmet. For the passenger car drivers and right-front passengers observed in the last 11 years, use rates varied from a low of 67.1% in 1997 to a high of 73.6% in 1998. The December 2002 use rate of 71.1% is a slight increase from the 70.4% use rate in the summer of 2002.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 23 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00960003
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VTRC 03-TAR4,, Technical Assistance Rept
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2003 12:00AM