Using this Booklet as a Resource
The facts contained in this booklet can be used to develop speeches and presentations, public information and education publications, backgrounders, and news releases for the media, and to promote the use of occupant restraints in conjunction with law enforcement officials. States and local communities have an important role to play in creating a national norm that makes it unacceptable to ride unrestrained in a motor vehicle. Our national goal must be to make occupant restraint use a lifelong habit for everyone.
The booklet is divided into three main sections. The first section presents general information on the need for and importance of promoting occupant restraint use for children, youth, and young adults. Most of the data and discussion in the document refer to these groups according to the following ages:
The next section provides occupant protection facts specific to children and youth, followed by facts for young adults. The last section includes survey findings from NHTSA’s 2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey on self-reported behavior, attitudes, and opinions about safety belt use and laws. This biennial telephone survey measures consumers’ attitudes and opinions about occupant protection.
As you review the data that follows, keep in mind the following general definitions:
Fatal Crash: A police-reported crash involving a motor vehicle in which at least one person dies within 30 days of the crash (includes the deaths of individuals who were not in the vehicle, such as pedestrians and pedalcyclists)
Injury Crash: A police-reported crash involving a motor vehicle in which no one died but at least one person was reported to have (1) an incapacitating injury, (2) a visible but not incapacitating injury, (3) a possible but not visible injury, or (4) an injury of unknown severity.
Passenger Vehicles: Includes all cars, SUVs, vans up to 15-passenger capacity, and light trucks (under 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight rating) including pickups and truck-based station wagons. Motorcycles, buses, and large trucks (more than 10,000 lbs. GVWR) are not included in this category.