Characteristics and Predictors of Occasional Seat Belt Users

Understanding the factors that contribute to inconsistent, improper, and infrequent seat belt use is essential to the development of programs aimed at promoting an increased level of seat belt use. Previous research has been limited to observation and self-report techniques. Naturalistic studies of driving behavior, however, provide a unique opportunity to observe seat belt use longitudinally, at the individual level, and objectively. In 2003-2004, a naturalistic driving study was conducted which collected video and driving metrics for each trip taken by over 100 drivers in a 12 month period. Results showed that likelihood of seat belt use by occasional users on a given trip increased with the average speed during a trip and, to a lesser degree, distance traveled. However, due to the small sample size of only 28 occasional users and geographic location of the study, interpretation and generalization of these findings are limited. Thus, a larger and broader sample is desirable to further investigate this issue and confirm these findings. The objectives of this project are to: identify the impact of factors, including distance traveled, average and maximum speed during trip, weather conditions, roadway type, and time of day, on seat belt use in occasional users, and identify individual differences, including demographics, which differentiate between user groups. To accomplish these objectives, data will be sampled from the 2nd Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) data, the most comprehensive naturalistic driving study to date. Findings will contribute to the development of programs and educational materials for the purpose of increasing seat belt use.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $474249
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Managing Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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

      Sifrit, Kathy

    • Performing Organizations:

      Battelle Memorial Institute

      505 King Avenue
      Columbus, Ohio  United States  43201
    • Start Date: 20140929
    • Expected Completion Date: 20190930
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Seat Belt Use

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01615068
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2214C00389/0001
    • Files: RiP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Oct 26 2016 11:32AM