Rural Pickup Truck Drivers and Safety Belt Use: Focus Group Report

   

 

Technical Report Page

Executive Summary

Introduction

Defining the Problem

Fatalities

Gender and Other Characteristics

Laws Pertaining to Children and Cargo Areas

Focus Groups: Background

Moderator's Guide and Topics of Discussion

Focus Groups: Findings

Focus Group Participants' Attitudes Toward Safety Measures

Focus Group Participants' Safety Belt Use

Focus Group Participants' Responses to Specific Reasons/Approaches

Focus Group Responses to Existing Campaign Approaches - English-Speaking Group

Focus Group Responses to Existing Campaign Approaches - Hispanic Group

Campaign Component Development - English-Speaking Group

Campaign Component Development - Hispanic Group

Conclusions

References

List of Tables

List of Figures

Appendices

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Fatalities


The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) is a census of all traffic crashes that occur within the United States that resulted in at least one death within 30 days of the crash. Detailed information about the fatal crashes such as road conditions, vehicles, and person characteristics is compiled and analyzed every year (www.nhtsa.dot.gov).

FARS classification system includes the following pickup truck body types:

  • Compact pickup truck;
  • Standard pickup truck;
  • Pickup truck with camper;
  • Convertible pickup truck; and
  • Unknown pickup truck.
  • Passenger vehicles include:
  • 2-5 door sedans;
  • Coupes;
  • Auto pickup truck (e.g., El Camino, etc.);
  • Hatchback convertibles and hard tops;
  • Station wagons; and
  • Other auto unknown type between 1991 through 1994.

The "all other vehicles" body type category includes sport utility vehicles, vans, single unit trucks, truck tractors, combination trucks, commercial and school buses, motorcycles and all other motorized vehicles.

During 2001, there were 57,813 vehicles involved in collisions where at least one occupant died. The vehicles involved in these crashes held a total of 94,526 occupants; of the vehicles in fatal crashes, 10,961 were pickup trucks and 27,429 were passenger cars. Table 3 shows that more than half (52 percent) of pickup trucks involved in fatal crashes, had an occupant that died compared with 66 percent of passenger cars, which had an occupant that died.

 

Table 3
Percentage of Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes by Body Type and
Injury Severity Within the Vehicle (FARS 2001)
Body Type
Injury Severity

Pickup Trucks
N = 10,961

Passenger Cars
N = 27,429

All Other Vehicles
N = 19,423

Total
N = 57,813

No Fatality

48.3%
34.1%
52.6%
43.0%

Fatality

51.7%
65.9%
47.4%
57.0%

Total

100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%

Data Update: FARS 2002 (ARF*) shows: fatalities among pickup truck occupants were 52% and fatalities among passenger car occupants were 67%.


*The Annual Report File (ARF) from NCSA is subject to minor changes including additional fatalities, which will be reflected in the final file.

Pickup trucks represent about 19 percent of household vehicles, while 63 percent of household vehicles are passenger cars (Federal Highway Administration, Highway Statistics 2000).

Table 4 shows that pickup trucks are more likely to roll over during fatal crashes than are passenger cars and all other vehicles (25 percent versus 16 percent and 18 percent, respectively).

Table 4
Percentage of Vehicles Involved in Fatal Crashes by Rollover Occurrence and Body Type (FARS 2001)
Body Type
Vehicle Rollover

Pickup Trucks
N=10,961

Passenger Cars
N = 27,429

All Other Vehicles
N = 19,423

Total
N = 57,813

No Rollover

74.9

84.3

81.5

81.6

First Event

9.2

4.6

7.6

6.5

Subsequent Event

16.0

11.1

10.9

12.0

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Data Update: FARS 2002 (ARF) shows that, of the fatal crashes among pickup trucks, 26% experienced rollovers versus 17% among passenger cars.

Pickup trucks are also overrepresented in total and partial ejections as compared with other vehicle types. Table 5 shows that a higher proportion of pickup trucks have occupants ejected from the vehicle than other body types (19 percent for pickups versus 12 percent for passenger cars and 12 percent for all other vehicle types).

Table 5
Percentage of Occupants in Fatal Crashes by Ejection Status and Vehicle Body Type (FARS 2001)
Body Type
Occupant Ejection

Pickup Trucks
N=16,693

Passenger Cars
N = 46,003

All Other Vehicles
N = 31,830

Total
N = 94,526

Not Ejected

80.9

87.5

85.7

85.7

Totally Ejected

15.0

9.8

10.7

11.0

Partially Ejected

3.6

2.3

1.6

2.3

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Data Update: FARS 2002 (ARF) shows fatal crashes among pickup trucks included 15% of occupants totally ejected and 3% partially ejected versus 10% occupants totally ejected and 2% partially ejected in passenger cars.

Table 6 shows that 71 percent of occupants who died in pickup truck crashes were not wearing their safety belts. In comparison, 49 percent of passenger car occupants who died in crashes were not using safety belts. Nationally, 127 persons died in crashes while traveling in the cargo area of pickup trucks. Appendix B shows detailed State-by-State fatality data.

Table 6
Percentage of Occupant Fatalities in Fatal Crashes by Restraint Use and Vehicle Body Type (FARS 2001)
Body Type
Restraint Use

Pickup Trucks
N=6,116

Passenger Cars
N = 20,233

All Other Vehicles
N = 10,037

Total
N = 36,386

None used or NA

70.6

48.5

54.8

53.9

Restraint Used

23.0

42.6

19.8

33.0

Other

6.5

8.9

25.5

13.1

Total

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

100.0%

Data Update: FARS 2002 (ARF) shows 71% of pickup truck occupants in fatal crashes were unrestrained and 6% were unknown versus 49% unrestrained and 9% unknown in passenger cars.

   
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