Impacts of culture on driver knowledge and safety device usage among Hispanic farm workers

Accid Anal Prev. 1999 May;31(3):235-41. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(98)00072-4.


This study examines Hispanic migrant farm workers' driving behaviors and knowledge of the laws. These laborers worked and drove in California's agricultural region up to 8 months a year. Results are based on 167 face-to-face interviews conducted in Spanish at five labor camps and 126 observations conducted at these same camps in California. Most drivers were male licensed drivers (79%), who learned to drive at ages 8-14 in Mexico (42%). Those licensed in Mexico versus the US received more citations and unlicensed drivers were rated with poor driving skills. Drivers reported 'always' using seat belts (86%), yet admitted not buckling up within the previous 2 months. Observational data showed that only 37% used belts and 55% of drivers riding alone were belted. Reasons for non-use reflected cultural and economic issues and lack of effective media safety campaigns for this group. Most (75%) drivers with children (< 4 years) said they used child safety seats and others with 1+ children (< 4 years) used no safety seats (20%) or only one seat (53%). Observations showed that regardless of the number of riders aged 0-4, the number of car seats never exceeded one. In 66% of the cars where a single child was carried and where two children were carried, no car seats were used. In all of these cases there were other passengers and drivers who were not belted.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Agriculture
  • Automobile Driving*
  • California
  • Culture*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Hispanic or Latino*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk-Taking
  • Safety*
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transients and Migrants*