Personal, temporal and spatial characteristics of seriously injured crash-involved seat belt non-users in Hawaii

Accid Anal Prev. 2003 Jan;35(1):121-30. doi: 10.1016/s0001-4575(01)00097-5.


The characteristics of crash-involved seat belt non-users in a high use state (Hawaii) are examined in order to better design enforcement and education programs. Using police crash report data over a 10-year period (1986-1995), we compare belted and unbelted drivers and front seat occupants, who were seriously injured in crashes, in terms of personal (age, gender, alcohol involvement, etc.) and crash characteristics (time, location, roadway factors, etc.). A logistic regression model combined with the spline method is used to analyze and categorize the salient differences between users and non-users. We find that unbelted occupants are more likely to be male, younger, unlicensed, intoxicated and driving pickup trucks versus other vehicles. Moreover, non-users are more likely than users to be involved in speed-related crashes in rural areas during the nighttime. Passengers are 70 times more likely to be unbelted if the driver is also unbelted than passengers of vehicles with belted drivers. While our general findings are similar to other seat belt studies, the contribution of this paper is in terms of a deeper understanding of the relative importance of various factors associated with non-use among seriously injured occupants as well as demonstrating a powerful methodology for analyzing safety problems entailing the categorization of various groups. While the former has implication for seat belt enforcement and education programs, the latter is relevant to a host of other research questions.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hawaii / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control