Who does not use the seat belt
- and why?
The main objective of the project is to contribute to increased knowledge about the percentage of approximately 10% of drivers and passengers who do not use safety belts, and how they may be affected to increase belt use. Since the law reform came in 1975 and the introduction of fees in 1979, the use of seat-belt has increased considerably up to the present level which is around 90% in the front- and back seat of small cars in towns and on rural roads. Analysis of traffic accidents in the period 2000 - 2007 shows that the proportion of killed and seriously injured people that have not used the seat-belt, ranges from 30 to 37% for the entire country.
The primary target groups of the project is (the) group (s) that we find in the accident statistics as
killed or seriously injured but have not used the seat-belt. The groups at issue amounts to a total of
60% of all killed and injured without the belt. The most vulnerable groups are:
• Girls aged 15-17 years
• Women and men aged 18-21 years
• Men aged 22-35 years
The project consists of several sub-projects that includes a literature study, a statistical description
of the accidents with killed and seriously injured, statistics on seat-belt use, detailed study of fatal
accidents in Region sør, a survey among participants on the course Bilfører 65 + on seat-belt use
and in-depth interviews of injured drivers and passengers who did not used the seat-belt.
To draw a complete picture of the seat belt use in Norway, we have divided the drivers and
passengers in the three main groups:
Those who "always" using seatbelt: One must not forget the vast majority, and their significance
as good examples and as "belt whistleblowers". Measures that maintain the "good habit" is
important, and the imposition and fees necessary to maintain the good percentage of seatbelt
Those who use the seatbelt “from time to time”: A significant finding of the study is that all the 20
who were interviewed in principle was for the use of the belt. Inadequate use of the belt was due
primarily to bad habits. Moreover, it is not so that all intoxicated drivers and those with a criminal
record never use the seat-belt. The accident had changed belt habits leading to an increase in
seatbelt use. A good habit is to put on the seatbelt before the car is put in motion.
Those who are “conscious non seatbelt users”: Some have a conviction that the seat-belt can lead
to situations where you are strapped and can not get out of the car quick enough, while others
want to decide for themselves whether to use the belt or not. Some have a medical certificate that
gives them permission not to use the seatbelt.
Conclusion and summary: Most non-users are characterized by a lack of understanding of the life
saving effect of safety belts and the power of good habits regardless of age and gender. But they
are willing to listen to the arguments for using the belt and positively change their habits. Some of
these have a high accident risk through a combination of being young, immature, inexperienced,
driving recklessly and often at high speeds, using drugs and has relationships with criminal
behaviour. Seatbelt reminders, controls and fee are important measures. The most important
measure is to incorporate a habit and a social norm for the use of safety belt as early as possible.
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