From: Children's Safety Network
The purpose of this NHTSA study was to conduct an independent evaluation to assess a demonstration seat belt program, Just Get It Across, which was developed by the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio (Rainbow Babies) to increase seat belt use by 13- to 15-year-old teens through parental influence. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 13- to 15-year-old teens. While seat belt use has been an effective method to prevent injury from motor vehicle crashes, data from the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) and Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) suggest that this period may be a critical time when safe occupant protection habits begin to decline and intervention to encourage belt use is needed. Most teens in the 13- to 15-year-old age group are not yet licensed to drive independently and rely on transportation provided by others, often parents or guardians. Recent research has also found that some parents find that there is a gap in messaging directed to them regarding seat belt safety after their children have out grown their booster seats. This may contribute to a lost opportunity to help parents promote belt use by their young teen children in this critical period leading to the start of independent driving and progressively lower seat belt use rates during the early licensure years. According to recent research, 8- to 15-year-old children reported that belt use reminders and encouragement from parents were the best ways to encourage them to use seat belts. However, parents did not seem to realize the potential of their influence and thought that outside motivators would be most effective at encouraging their children to use seat belts. Parents can play important roles in motor vehicle injury prevention and these findings suggest that programs to help parents influence their 13- to 15-year-old children to use seat belts are needed.
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