Environmental and psychosocial factors affecting seat belt use among Turkish front-seat occupants in Ankara: two observation studies

Traffic Inj Prev. 2008;9(3):264-7. doi: 10.1080/15389580801966508.


Objective: Low seat belt use rate among car occupants is one of the main problems contributing to low driver and passenger safety in Turkey, where injury and fatality rates of car occupants are very high in traffic crashes. The present article consists of two observation studies, which were conducted in Ankara. The first study aimed at investigating environmental factors and occupant characteristics affecting seat belt use among front-seat occupants, and the objective of the second study was to investigate the relationship between driver and front-seat passenger seat belt use.

Method: In the first study, 4, 227 front-seat occupants (drivers or front seat passengers) were observed on four different road sides and, in the second study 1, 398 front seat occupants were observed in car parks of five different shopping centers in Ankara. In both observations, front-seat occupants' seat bet use (yes, no), sex (male, female), and age (< 30 years, 30-50 years, > 50 years) were recorded.

Results: The data were analyzed using chi-square statistics and binary logistic regression techniques. Results of the first study showed that seat belt use proportion among observed front seat occupants was very low (25%). Being female and traveling on intercity roads were two main factors positively related to use a seat belt among front-seat occupants. High correlations between seat belt use of the drivers and front-seat passengers were found in the second study.

Conclusions: Overall, low seat belt use rate (25%) among the front-seat occupants should be increased urgently for an improved driver and passenger safety in Turkey. Seat belt campaigns especially tailored for male front-seat occupants and for the front-seat occupants traveling on city roads are needed to increase seat belt use rates among them. Also, both drivers and passengers may have an important role in enforcing seat belt use among themselves.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observation
  • Psychology*
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Turkey