The Effect of Innovative Technology on Seat Belt Usage - Phase 2

Increasing seatbelt usage rates is one of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) primary goals. This project is designed to use technology to encourage drivers to buckle up. While extended reminders have been shown to increase seat belt use, but many people find these system very annoying. Seat-belt ignition interlocks that were deployed in the 1970s required drivers to buckle up before starting their vehicles, but the technology met with considerable driver resistance and was subsequently eliminated. The approach in the current project will provide subtle feedback to the driver when they are not buckled. When a driver exceeds a pre-determined speed, they will experience accelerator resistance. The force can easily be over-ridden so the driver can choose to go faster, but the pedal returns to the preset level when the driver's attention is focused elsewhere. Applying this technology to seat belt usage may be effective with occasional seat belt users who forget to buckle. In Phase 1, two vehicles were instrumented with the system, and seatbelt use rate of the 6 drivers who drove the vehicles was 100% with the system activated. In Phase 2, two approaches will be used to further evaluate the technology. In the first approach, a small group of drivers will drive vehicles instrumented with the system for several weeks in an effort to assess the system over a period of time. In an attempt to increase the generality of the findings a larger group of drivers will operate the vehicle for shorter periods.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • See DOT HS 811 434 "Using Haptic Feedback to Increase Seat Belt Use of Service Vehicle Drivers."


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $420000.00
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Reagan, Ian

  • Performing Organizations:

    Western Michigan University

    1903 W. Michigan Avenue
    Kalamazoo, MI  United States  49008-5241
  • Principal Investigators:

    Van Houten, Ronald

  • Start Date: 20080404
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110100
  • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
  • Subprogram: Seat Belt Use
  • Source Data: RiP Project 30922

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01465172
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Contract Numbers: DTNH22-08-H-00198
  • Files: RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:56PM