Where children sit in cars: the impact of Rhode Island's new legislation

Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb;91(2):311-3. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.2.311.


Objectives: This study evaluated the impact of Rhode Island's legislation requiring children younger than 6 years to sit in the rear of motor vehicles.

Methods: Roadside observations were conducted in Rhode Island and Massachusetts in 1997 and 1998. Multivariate regression was used to evaluate the proportion of vehicles carrying a child in the front seat.

Results: Data were collected on 3226 vehicles carrying at least 1 child. In 1998, Rhode Island vehicles were less likely to have a child in the front seat than in 1997 (odds ratio = 0.6; 95% confidence interval = 0.5, 0.7), whereas no significant changes in child passenger seating behavior occurred in Massachusetts during that period.

Conclusions: Rhode Island's legislation seems to have promoted safer child passenger seating behavior.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Automobile Driving / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child
  • Child Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Child Welfare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child Welfare / trends
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Massachusetts
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Program Evaluation
  • Regression Analysis
  • Rhode Island