How to Reach the Last of the Seat Belt Use Holdouts (BTS-35)

Buckling up is the single most effective thing drivers and passengers can do to protect themselves from death or serious injury in a motor vehicle crash. Seat belt use in passenger vehicles is estimated to save more than 10,000 lives annually in the United States. And although most Americans seem to understand the lifesaving value of seat belts – the national seat belt use rate was at 91.6% in 2022 – large numbers of vehicle occupants still do not buckle up.

This project will design and conduct research on the remaining fraction of Americans who do not use seat belts, with the goal of identifying practical, actionable countermeasures that can be implemented by state highway safety offices and their partners to motivate the last seat belt use holdouts to buckle up. To reach the holdouts, understanding underlying issues is critical. The research will include a focus on state and regional data in order to develop customizable and scalable countermeasure approaches, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach.


Research Topic
Child-Passenger Safety
Research Year