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Using haptic feedback to increase seat belt use : traffic tech.
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  • Publication/ Report Number:
    Number 403
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  • Abstract:
    The legacy of research on increasing seat belt use has

    focused on enactment of seat belt legislation, public education,

    high-visibility police enforcement, and seat belt

    reminder systems. Several behavioral programs have

    produced large, sustained increases in seat belt use, and

    several of these techniques have been employed on a

    communitywide basis to increase seat belt use. Innovative

    technologies may add to the success realized by the high-visibility

    enforcement model and elevate the seat belt use

    rate further.

    In the present study reviewed in this edition of "Traffic Tech", researchers tested an innovative

    technology that uses haptic feedback to increase seat belt

    use. This system imposes an increased resistance to the

    accelerator pedal when the driver is unbuckled and a predetermined

    speed is exceeded. This concept offers several

    potential advantages over other technologies. First, the

    system would not affect drivers who always buckle but

    do so after motion, nor would it affect drivers who do

    not buckle in very low-risk situations such as backing a

    vehicle to a loading dock. Second, because driving at the

    chosen speed in a comfortable manner should be a powerful

    reinforcer, the device should produce a rapid and

    sustained increase in seat belt use to 100%. Third, this system

    remains in effect until drivers fasten their seat belts.

    Finally, the system is consistently applied by the vehicle

    and does not require anyone to monitor driver seat belt

    use and apply consequences for not wearing the seat belt.

    The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the

    effect of this device on seat belt use and driver acceptance

    of the device.

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