Safety belt laws and disparities in safety belt use among US high-school drivers.
ABSTRACT We compared reported safety belt use, for both drivers and passengers, among teenagers with learner's permits, provisional licenses, and unrestricted licenses in states with primary or secondary enforcement of safety belt laws.
Our data source was the 2006 National Young Driver Survey, which included a national representative sample of 3126 high-school drivers. We used multivariate, log-linear regression analyses to assess associations between safety belt laws and belt use.
Teenaged drivers were 12% less likely to wear a safety belt as drivers and 15% less likely to wear one as passengers in states with a secondary safety belt law than in states with a primary law. The apparent reduction in belt use among teenagers as they progressed from learner to unrestricted license holder occurred in only secondary enforcement states. Groups reporting particularly low use included African American drivers, rural residents, academically challenged students, and those driving pickup trucks.
The results provided further evidence for enactment of primary enforcement provisions in safety belt laws because primary laws are associated with higher safety belt use rates and lower crash-related injuries and mortality.
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ABSTRACT: To determine seatbelt use of teenage drivers arriving at high schools in the morning and at evening football games compared with belt use of adults driving teenage passengers to these events, and teenage passenger belt use depending on whether they were being driven by another teenager or an adult. Unobtrusive observations of belt use were made at 12 high schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Among males, teenage drivers had lower belt use than adults; differences between female teenage and female adult drivers were slight. Teenage passengers had lower belt use in vehicles driven by other teenagers than in cars driven by adults, but more than 40% of teenage passengers in vehicles driven by adults, presumed in most cases to be the teenager's parent, were not belted. Teenage passenger belt use was lower than teenage driver use regardless of gender. These differences were found both at morning arrivals and at football games, but teenage belt use was not much different in these two settings. Teenage passengers were belted more often if drivers were belted, whether the driver was another teenager or an adult, but a third of male passengers and 25%-30% of female passengers were unbelted even when drivers were belted. Teenagers have high crash risk but low belt use, which adds to their injury problem. Avenues to address this include strong belt use laws and their enforcement, building belt use requirements into graduated licensing systems, keeping young beginners out of high risk driving situations, and finding ways to influence parents and other adults to ensure that their teenage passengers use seatbelts.Injury Prevention 04/2003; 9(1):25-8. · 1.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In 2005, 40% of motor-vehicle occupant deaths in the group aged 16-19 years involved passengers. Although seatbelts can reduce crash mortality by 50% or more, little is known about the differences in driver-versus-passenger seatbelt use among teens. In 2007, data from the 2001 and 2003 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys were analyzed for 12,731 black, white, and Hispanic high school students aged >or=16 years reporting seatbelt use as both drivers and passengers. Seatbelt use was compared for driver- and passenger-seat positions, and stratified by age, gender, race/ethnicity, school grades, and histories of either drinking and driving or riding with a drinking driver. Overall, 59% of students always used seatbelts when driving, but only 42% always buckled up as passengers. Across all covariate strata, passenger seatbelt use was significantly less prevalent than driver seatbelt use (p<0.001). A concordance analysis showed that only 38% of students always wore seatbelts both when driving and while riding as a passenger. Multivariate analyses indicated that, regardless of seat position, seatbelt use was lower for young men, blacks, students with poor grades, and students who reported either drinking and driving or riding with a drinking driver. U.S. high school students aged >or=16 years are significantly less likely to wear seatbelts as passengers than as drivers. Interventions designed to promote seatbelt use among teens need to address this disparity.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 07/2008; 35(3):224-9. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The use of safety belts is the single most effective means of reducing fatal and nonfatal injuries in motor vehicle crashes. If all motor vehicle occupants consistently wore safety belts, an estimated 9553 deaths would have been prevented in 1999 alone. The Guide to Community Preventive Services's methods for systematic reviews were used to evaluate the effectiveness of three interventions to increase safety belt use. Effectiveness was assessed on the basis of changes in safety belt use and number of crash-related injuries. Strong evidence was found for the effectiveness of safety belt laws in general and for the incremental effectiveness of primary safety belt laws relative to secondary laws. Strong evidence for the effectiveness of enhanced enforcement programs for safety belt laws was also found. Additional information is provided about the applicability, other effects, and barriers to implementation of these interventions. These reviews form the basis of the recommendations by the Task Force on Community Preventive Services presented elsewhere in this supplement. They can help decision makers identify and implement effective interventions that fit within an overall strategy to increase safety belt use.American Journal of Preventive Medicine 12/2001; 21(4 Suppl):48-65. · 3.95 Impact Factor