Analysis of teenage seat belt use: From the 2007 Missouri high school seat belt survey

This study analyzed high school teenagers' seat belt use based on the observational surveys of more than 15,000 teenagers at 150 schools and was conducted in the state of Missouri in 2007. Since fatal car accidents involving high school teenagers are disproportionately high, and increased seat belt use saves lives in what would otherwise be fatal accidents, it is imperative that teenagers' safety be protected through an increase in use. This study investigated various personal, vehicle, school, and locational factors associated with high school teenagers' seat belt use. Descriptive and binary logit analyses were conducted. We find that low seat belt use is associated with males, African-Americans, pick-up trucks, accompanying occupants, weekends, inclement driving conditions, small size of school, lower socio-economic status, and rural county school locations. Several factors influencing teenage seat belt use are quite similar to those affecting adult seat belt use, in addition to certain risky behaviors to which teenagers are prone, supporting the importance of early intervention. Programs in schools, the adoption of primary seat belt laws, graduated driver licensing provisions requiring seat belt use, targeted education and campaign efforts for African-American teenagers, seat belt reminder systems, and more resources for rural counties on safety education and enforcement may help increase seat belt use in this vulnerable age group, though other research questions are implied.


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  • Accession Number: 01144678
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2009 9:06AM