Factors influencing seat belt usage rate for blacks and hispanics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Seat belt usage among African Americans and Hispanics has been documented to be significantly lower than that of other population groups. In 1996, an NHTSA study showed low seat belt usage rates among the general population and among African Americans especially. Studies have continued to be performed to measure seat belt usage among African Americans and Hispanics. The Division of Highway Traffic Safety of New Jersey commissioned a study to determine seat belt usage rates for blacks and Hispanics in urban areas in New Jersey and to identify differences in these rates and factors that affect the usage rates. Direct observation was used to obtain safety belt usage for drivers in passenger motor vehicles. Race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic data were also obtained through a questionnaire given to drivers of noncommercial motor vehicles. The study found no significant difference between the usage rates of Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites. A logistic regression model was also developed to estimate the probability of seat belt use, which was regarded as the dependent variable, with independent variables including gender, vehicle type, racial-ethnic group, highest educational level achieved, marital status, age, whether the driver had children, and total household income. The variables identified as significant included gender, marital status, and age. Race was not found to be a significant factor in estimating the probability of seat belt usage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHighway Safety, School Transportation and Emergency Evacuation
PublisherNational Research Council
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780309104357
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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