In both fatal and nonfatal crashes, a driver being unrestrained is a strong predictor of the child passenger also being unrestrained, according to a recent study. Policy and regulation to better ensure that drivers are properly restrained (eg, expanding primary seat-belt laws to all states) may serve as effective means for increasing rates of proper child-occupant-restraint use. Researchers analyzed 2011–2015 Fatality Analysis Reporting System and National Automotive Sampling System data and included vehicles with a young passenger (aged ≤19 years) in a crash. Driver and passenger characteristics were compared by using bivariate analyses separately for fatal and nonfatal crashes. Logistic regression analyses were performed on a combined data set to predict passenger restraint use. They found:
- In unadjusted bivariate models, unrestrained drivers had a higher probability of having an unrestrained passenger across all passenger age groups for both fatal and nonfatal crashes.
- In multivariate logistic regression models that included both fatal and nonfatal crashes and were adjusted for several driver and passenger characteristics, unrestrained drivers had a higher risk of having an unrestrained young passenger across all age groups.
Roehler DR, Elliott MR, Quinlan KP, Zonfrillo MR. Factors associated with unrestrained young passengers in motor vehicle crashes. Pediatrics. 2019;143(3):e20182507. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-2507.