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Effectiveness of Ford’s belt reminder system in increasing seat belt use

Williams, Allan F.; Wells, JoAnn K.; Farmer, Charles M.
Injury Prevention
December 2002

Objectives: The study investigated the effectiveness in increasing seat belt use of Ford's belt reminder system, a supplementary system that provides intermittent flashing lights and chimes for five minutes if drivers are not belted.
Methods: Seat belt use of drivers in relatively new cars with and without the reminder system was unobtrusively observed as vehicles were brought to dealerships for service.
Results: Overall use rates were estimated at 71% for drivers in vehicles without the reminder system and 76% for drivers in vehicles with belt reminders (p<0.01).
Conclusions: Seat belt use is relatively low in the United States. The present study showed that vehicle based reminder systems can be at least modestly effective in increasing belt use, which may encourage further development of such systems.