ECONOMICS OF SAFETY AND SEAT BELT USE

Multivariate probit analysis of automobile lap seat belt use of over 1,800 drivers located throughout the U.S. yielded statistically significant and reasonable results in which seat belt use or nonuse was correctly predicted for 77% of the drivers. The variables included in the empirical analysis followed directly from a theoretical model of life-saving activity developed in the paper that views the seat belt use decision as primarily economic. Use of seat belts was expected to be greater when the productivity in preventing injury was greater. Seat belt productivity variables found to be important were age of driver, male sex, and rural speed limit, all of which increased seat belt use. Use was also expected to be greater when the value the driver places on his life is greater. Future labor earnings and health were thus found to significantly increase seat belt use. Higher costs of using seat belts were expected to reduce seat belt use. Indeed, high wage rates, short trips, extra adjustment and fastening due to family demands, and lack of education were found to decrease seat belt use. A useful policy implication is that consideration of such time costs (including inconvenience) is imperative in formulating any successful safety regulations. /SRIS/

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  • Corporate Authors:

    National Safety Council

    425 North Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL  United States  60611
  • Authors:
    • Blomquist, G
  • Publication Date: 1977-12

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00178504
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Safety Council Safety Research Info Serv
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 14 1978 12:00AM