Motivating Teens to Buckle Up

This article describes a survey that was conducted to develop baseline information about seatbelt use among teens in Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration collaborated to conduct the survey among high school and college students in Rhode Island. More than 15,000 paper surveys and 3,000 electronic surveys were completed and returned. To verify the results, researchers conducted observational studies in parking lots at 13 high schools and the University of Rhode Island. The findings indicated that 69.5% of Rhode Island high school students wear seatbelts, factoring in full- and part-time users. When asked if they are more likely, less likely or just as likely to wear a seatbelt when riding with friends compared to driving alone, 67.6% reported that they are just as likely to buckle up. Only 11.9% said that they would be less likely. The number one reason given for seatbelt nonuse was traveling a short distance. Knowing someone in a crash and fear of getting a ticket were the top motivators for increasing seatbelt use. Although 90% of college students reported wearing seat belts, the actual average observational usage rate was only 70.5%. The results from this survey can be used to design and test initiatives to promote seatbelt use among teens. Two pilot programs aimed at high school students are described.


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  • Accession Number: 01010537
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 10 2005 11:28PM