All Projects

What is the best route to increasing seat belt use?

Finding the best route to increasing seat belt use

More than 90% of drivers and passengers are using seat belts. We know that thanks to the annual National Occupant Protection Use Survey, which Westat conducts for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each state also conducts its own annual survey of seat belt use. However, the states’ surveys haven’t been uniform, which has made comparing seat belt use in different areas of the country difficult.

Thanks to a recent change in a federal rule, state seat belt surveys must now meet new specific criteria to ensure consistency in their design and execution. The NHTSA asked Westat to assist them in their review of the designs of every state survey to make sure they adhere to the criteria.

  • We created a website that provides an example of a state survey plan, a copy of the new rules, and other resources for use by the states. This website also is used by the states to submit their survey plans, and allows Westat to track the status of each plan through the review and approval process. Because of the specific requirements, some states must amend their initial plans several times before they are fully compliant.
  • Final approval of states’ plans is granted by NHTSA, based upon summary findings from Westat.
  • Our geospatial services group assists states by providing road segment data that can be used in selecting survey data collection sites. Our expertise in working with available road data sets helps to overcome some of the limitations of these data and provide useful information to states.
  • Westat’s survey statisticians also review the research plans to ensure they are valid and appropriate.
  • The new rules require states to periodically update their research plans. Using our website, Westat is able to archive all state submissions, compare previously approved survey plans to new plans, and identify issues that must be addressed.
  • These data will help individual jurisdictions understand seat belt use within their jurisdictions in order to properly guide enforcement and education efforts to increase belt use.
  • They also provide a more uniform data set that can be used to compare and contrast restraint use across the U.S.

Want to work with us?
You’ll be in great company.

About Us Careers

Westat Employees.
Westat Employee.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Baltimore Metropolitan Council
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
DC Public Schools
Georgia Department of Transportation
Internal Revenue Service
Leadership Montgomery
Maryland Cancer Registry
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
National Science Foundation
NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Social Security Administration
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Teach for America
Texas Education Agency
The Johns Hopkins University
The National Institutes of Health
The Verizon Foundation
U.S. Department of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Department of Transportation
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
University of Maryland Baltimore Campus
University of Michigan
University System of Maryland
Explore Our Clients

Please wait...

Forbes 2022 The Best Employers for Women Powered by Statista

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law. Notices to Employees & Applicants.