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Just Belt Up Says DOE!
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Five Percent of Back Seat Passengers Don’t Belt Up Reports the DOE.

Where are you in the statistics? dn_screen

Figures from the Northern Ireland Survey of Seat Belt Wearing published today (Thursday 1 August) show that overall wearing rates in 2013 remain high at 98%. 

In 2013, 98% of drivers were belted up compared to 97% of passengers.

It remains that back seat wearing rates are lower (95%) than that of both drivers and front seat passengers (98%). Whilst this is a major improvement from 1994 when only around one in two back street passengers were properly restrained, the wearing rate for this group has not changed over the last two years. 

In 2013, 4% of children aged 10-13, 5% of those aged 5-9, 3% of those aged 1-4 and one child aged under one year were unrestrained when travelling in the back of a car which is similar to the rates reported last year. 

Survey data were collected during April 2013 at 12 sites throughout Northern Ireland covering urban, rural and motorway locations. Fieldwork involved observing stationary traffic and recording details including gender, estimated age and whether a seat belt or child restraint was being used. In total 13,293 cars were observed and details of 19,792 occupants recorded.

The key points to note from the survey are:

Wearing rates in cars:

*  98% of all car occupants observed used a restraint in 2013 compared to 96% in 2009. Over the last three years, the wearing rates have remained constant for all car occupants. 

*  Drivers in 2013 were more likely to be restrained (98%) than passengers (97%). 

*  98% of drivers wore a restraint in 2013, up 1% from the 2009 level of 97%. This series has been constant for the last four years.

*  98% of front seat passengers wore a restraint in 2013, up 2% from the 2009 level of 96%. There has been no change over the last year in front seat passenger wearing rates. 

*  95% of back seat passengers wore a restraint in 2013, similar to the 2012 rate and up from 93% in 2009.

*  98% of male and 99% female drivers were restrained in 2013. The level of males drivers wearing a restraint has not changed since 2011 whereas female drivers increased by 1% from 2012.

*  97% of male and 98% of female front seat passengers were restrained in 2013. Male front seat restraint wearing rates have increased by four percentage points over the last five years; females have increased by 1% over the same period. 

*  In 2013, 4% of children aged 10-13, 5% of those aged 5-9, 3% of those aged 1-4 and 1% of those under one year were unrestrained when travelling in the back of a car. Restraint wearing rates for these groups have been fairly constant over the last three years.

*  99% of drivers on rural roads were restrained compared to 98% of drivers on urban roads in 2013; there was no change over the year.

*  1% of drivers in 2013 were observed using a mobile phone which is the same as reported for 2012.

Wearing rates in vans and taxis:

*   89% of van drivers in 2013 were restrained, 3% higher than the 2012 rate and an increase of 15 percentage points from 2007 when wearing rates van drivers were first collected.

*   84% of taxi drivers in 2013 were restrained, similar to last year’s rate yet still an improvement of 17 percentage points since 2007 when this group were first included in the survey.

The Northern Ireland Survey of Seat Belt Wearing 2013 is the latest in a research series into restraint wearing rates amongst drivers and passengers in Northern Ireland. It is commissioned by the Department of the Environment and has been carried out since 1994.

Belt up today, or you well never hear the end of it!