2006 Seat Belt Use Estimate for Native American Tribal Reservation (Report)

2006 Seat Belt Use Estimate for Native American Tribal Reservation (Report)


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This study updates a 2004 project sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Indian Highway Safety Program, which developed a methodology to measure and a baseline tribal reservation seat belt use rate. Between September and December 2006, seat belt use was observed on 15 reservations and in March 2007 on one reservation. For the tribal reservations subject to tribal law and tribal traffic law enforcement, excluding the Navajo Nation, the overall seat belt use rate was 61.8%. When results from the 2004 study are compared to the present study, there was a statistically significant increase in seat belt use. There was a very high variation in belt use across reservations, ranging from a low of 27.7% to a high of 87.8%. Nine tribal reservations had primary seat belt laws; in them, 73.1% of vehicle occupants were belted. By comparison, three tribal reservations had secondary belt laws; they averaged 59.3% belt use. For the four tribal reservations with no belt use law of any kind, only 37.2% of the vehicle occupants were belted.