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Identification of safety belt restraint usage characteristics related to four- to thirteen-year-olds.
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  • Publication/ Report Number:
    K-TRAN: KSU-09-5
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  • Abstract:
    Involvement in road traffic crashes as vehicle occupants is a leading cause of death and serious injury among children. The

    objective of this study was to investigate child safety restraint-use characteristics and crash-severity factors in order to identify

    effective countermeasures to increase children’s safety. Crash data were obtained from the Kansas Department of Transportation

    from 2004 to 2008. Children were divided into two groups, aged four to seven and eight to 13, considering Kansas child restraint

    laws. Frequencies, percentages, and odds ratios were used to investigate restraint-use characteristics, seating positions, and injury

    severity. Logistic regression models were developed to identify risk factors which increased injury severity. Results showed

    children not restrained, riding with drunk drivers, and riding in older vehicles were more vulnerable for injuries when they were in

    crashes. The most frequent contributory causes related to children involved in crashes in Kansas were inattention in driving, failure

    to yield right of way, driving too fast, wet roads, and animals in the road. Based on the identified critical factors, countermeasures

    to improve child traffic safety were suggested which included age- and size-appropriate seat belt restraints, and the child being in

    the rear seat. It is important for parents and children to gain better education about these safety measures that are helpful to

    increase child safety on the road.

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