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Slide 1 - Knuckle Down & Buckle Up: A Study Of Prevalent Safety Belt Use Spencer Oatts, Ben Gibson, Carl White, Yongli Zou, & Chris Dula Department of Psychology East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN
Slide 2 - Objective The purpose of the current study was to assess the frequency of safety belt use among students at a southeastern university. A secondary assessment was conducted to determine the efficacy of video data collection and field data collection.
Slide 3 - Introduction A NHTSA study found a 40–50% decrease in risk of fatal injury with properly used safety belts (NHTSA, 1984, 1996). The Tennessee “Click It or Ticket” program was found to increase safety belt use by 20%. (Tennessee Department of Transportation, 2001). Farrell, Cox, & Geller (2007) found that unbuckled male drivers were significantly more likely to buckle up when prompted by a female.
Slide 4 - Introduction Research from Rosenblum et al. (2004) has shown evidence to support the notion that video coding is a viable alternative to field observation. We hypothesized that there would be a significant difference in reported safety belt use between video coders and field observers.
Slide 5 - Participants Drivers (14 women, 22 men, 2 undetermined, age range 16-65 years) were observed naturalistically at an intersection located at a southeastern university. Thirty-eight vehicles were recorded. Researchers recorded color of vehicle, type of vehicle, safety belt use, cell phone use, sex of driver, race of driver, number of passengers, and age range of the driver.
Slide 6 - Procedure Two trained field researchers were equipped with a high definition camera to record video data of the vehicles at an intersection. Data of the vehicles were also recorded manually via field data collection sheets. The recorded data on the disc in the high definition camera was later transferred onto a computer.
Slide 7 - Procedure Two trained researchers watched the video and recorded any observations onto similar video data collection sheets. A verbal cue was used to notify the video coders of the specific targeted vehicle. Once all four researchers collected their data, the data collection sheets were compared using a Pearson’s correlation.
Slide 8 - Results Field Observer 1: Reported 55% of drivers were wearing a safety belt. Field Observer 2: Reported 79% of drivers were wearing a safety belt. Video Observer 1: Reported 88% of drivers were wearing a safety belt. Video Observer 2: Reported 92% of drivers were wearing a safety belt.
Slide 9 - Results The average rates of safety belt use reported was 79%. Correlation of safety belt use between Field Observers 1 & 2 r = 0.22 Correlation of safety belt use between Video Observers 1 & 2 r = 0.80
Slide 10 - Discussion We can infer that the difference in the report of safety belt rates for Field Observers are significant enough to question the methodology involved. Field Observer 1 controlled the camera, thus causing less time to record the necessary vehicle demographics. Control of camera could influence the data for the Video Observers.
Slide 11 - Discussion In future research for the study, there will be a third observer who will strictly control only the camera and not record vehicle data. While we had higher agreement rates for Video Observers, we also must question the methodology involved. Video Observers had the luxury of rewinding, zooming in, and pausing the video if needed to record the correct vehicle demographics.
Slide 12 - Discussion This luxury could also have caused the result of more compliance between Video Observers. Subtle cues from body language could have caused subjectivity between Video Observers. In future research for this study, we will require Video Observers to record the vehicle demographics separately to prevent any kind of subjectivity between observers.
Slide 13 - Discussion From our results, we cannot infer that one method of data collection is superior, however, we can revise our methodology and determine more reliable methods for collecting the vehicle demographics. Once a consistent method is implemented, our results can be more reliable and our conclusion can be well supported.
Slide 14 - Limitations All of our data came from the same local region. Different perceptions of vehicle demographics could lead to inconsistency between researchers. Tinted windows and unfavorable weather conditions limited visibility of the interior for some vehicles.
Slide 15 - Future Implications The results from this study could be used to help develop programs to increase safety belt use. Future research should be conducted in a variety of locales. If we can determine which methodology is superior, we can set a standard data collection protocol for the driving research field.
Slide 16 - References Farrell, L.V., Cox, M.G., & Geller, S. G. (2007). Prompting safety belt use in the context of a belt-use law: The flash-for life revisited. Journal of Safety Research, 38, 407-411. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1984. Final Regulatory Impact Analysis: Amendment to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 Passenger Car Front Seat Occupant Protection. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1996a. Presidential Initiative for Increasing Seat Belt Use Nationwide Rosenblum, K. L., Zeanah, C., McDonough, S., & Muzik, M. (2004). Video- taped coding of working model of the child interviews: a viable and useful alternative to verbatim transcripts? Infant Behavior & Development, 27, 544-549.