This study evaluated the performance of a video-based intervention for improving the belt fit obtained by drivers. Previous laboratory studies have demonstrated that some drivers position their seat belts suboptimally. Specifically, the lap portion of the belt may be higher and farther forward relative to the pelvis than best practice, and the shoulder portion of the belt may be outboard or inboard of mid-shoulder.
A video was developed to present the most important aspects of belt fit best practices, with emphasis on the lap belt. The video demonstrated how a seat belt should be routed with respect to an individual’s anatomy to ensure a proper fit. The three key belt fit concepts conveyed in the video were:
1) Lap belt low on hips, touching the thighs.
2) Shoulder belt crossing middle of collarbone.
3) Belt snug, as close to bones as possible.
Additional context about the ability to achieve to good belt fit, such as opening a heavy coat or adjusting the height adjusters on the B-pillar behind the windows, were also presented.
Jones, M.L.H., Ebert, S.M., Buckley, L., Park, J., and Reed, M.P. (2016). Evaluating an Intervention to Improve Belt Fit for Drivers. Technical Report UMTRI 2016-12. University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI. , Reed, M.P., Ebert-Hamilton, S.M. and Rupp, J.D. (2012). Effects of obesity on seat belt fit. Traffic Injury Prevention, 13(4):364-372. https://doi.org/10.1080/15389588.2012.659363, Reed, M.P., Ebert, S.M. and Hallman, J.J. (2013). Effects of driver characteristics on seat belt fit. Stapp Car Crash Journal, 57:43-57., and Jones, M.L.H., Ebert, S.M., and Reed, M.P. (2015). Effects of High Levels of Obesity on Driver Seat Belt Fit. Advancing Transportation Leadership and Safety Technical Report ATLAS-2015-016. University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Ann Arbor, MI.