2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey, Volume 5: Child Safety Seat Report

The 2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey was the fifth in a series of biennial national telephone surveys on occupant protection issues conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The survey used two questionnaires, each administered to a randomly selected national sample of about 6,000 persons age 16 or older. Interviewing began January 8, 2003 and ended March 30, 2003. This report, Volume 5, presents the survey findings pertaining to child restraint use. Detailed information on the survey methodology, as well as copies of the questionnaires, are contained in the Volume 1 report. Among drivers who lived with children age 12 or younger, most indicated that the youngest child typically rode in the back seat. Parents/caregivers of children under the age of 9 usually said the (referent) child either used a child car seat all the time (60%) or never (32%). If the child never used a car seat, it usually was because the child had graduated to safety belt use. However, 29% of the children who never used a car seat but wore safety belts said the shoulder belt cut across their face or neck on most trips, 25% usually put the shoulder belt behind their back, and 17% put the shoulder belt under their arm. Most children ages 6 through 8 discontinued using child car seats (including booster seats). Although booster seats are recommended for most children ages 4 through 8, the survey found only 21% of children in that age range using them and another 19% using front-facing child safety seats. While most parents/caregivers (85%) had heard of booster seats, 22% of these had concerns about their safety.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Incorporated

    8403 Colesville Road, Suite 820
    Silver Spring, MD  United States  20910

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Office of Research and Technology, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Boyle, John M
    • Vanderwolf, Patricia
  • Publication Date: 2005-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 167p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01000737
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-809 858
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-02-Q-05098
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 10 2005 11:52AM