During nine days in June 1977, four major metropolitan areas of the state of the state of Virginia were surveyed to determine seat belt use by summer urban travelers. Observer-data collectors were stationed at selected signalized intersections. Motorists in the lane adjacent to the curb were shown a clipboard bearing the question, Are you wearing seat belts? The observer then approached the vehicle and visually verified the response given, and recorded whether seat belts and/or shoulder straps were being used. He also recorded the license number of the vehicle and the sex and approximate age of each occupant. An association between the driver's use of belts and the right front passenger's use was noted during the survey. In vehicles in which the driver was not using a seat belt, 96.7 percent of the right front passengers (RFP's) were not using a seat belt. When the driver was using only a lap belt, 42.7 percent of the FRP's were using either the lap belt or the lap and shoulder belts. When the driver was using both lap and shoulder belts, 54.6 percent of the RFP's were using either the lap belt or the lap and shoulder belts. The last two figures for FRP use do not include the use of child seats, which added 1.6 percent 1.3 percent to the totals. It was found that only 16.3 percent of the drivers, 9.8 percent of the RFP's, and 3.4 percent of the remaining passengers used a seat belt and/or shoulder strap. Overall, 10.3 percent of the infant occupants were restrained by aproved child seats. The results indicate that in comparison to males, more of the female drivers and RFP's use belts. Belt use by drivers was found to be higher in the 1972/1973 vehicle group and by RFP's of 1975 model cars than in the other age categories of vehicles. A greater percentage of Northern Virginia drivers and RFP's used belts than those in the other survey areas, and use was lowest for all occupant categories in Eastern Virginia. /Author/

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Transportation Safety.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council

    Charlottesville, VA  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Stoke, C B
  • Publication Date: 1978-8

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 28 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00188218
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Virginia Highway and Transportation Research Council
  • Report/Paper Numbers: VHTRC 79-R5
  • Created Date: Mar 14 1979 12:00AM