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During our pilot implementation of the Buckle Up for Life Program in Greater Cincinnati, a total of 2,401 drivers and passengers from 12 Hispanic churches were observed.
Following our intervention in the first three churches, drivers and passengers increased seat belt use from 63 percent to 92 percent and from 44 percent to 85 percent, respectively. Thirty-one percent of children were restrained in a seat belt or car seat before the intervention, but 88 percent were restrained after the intervention. Six months after the intervention, 77 percent children were restrained.
In the second trial, which comprised two intervention churches and two control churches, drivers in participating churches increased restraint use from 30 percent to 85 percent, adult passengers increased restraint use from 40 percent to 87 percent, and the percent of children restrained in a car seat or seat belt increased from 16 percent to 100 percent.
In the final trial, which did not include any control churches, drivers increased restraint use from 35 percent to 92 percent, adult passengers increased restraint use from 20 percent to 89 percent, and the percent of restrained children increased from 47 percent to 98 percent.
Within three African-American churches we worked with in Los Angeles, child passengers were much more likely to be restrained after they and their guardians participated in Buckle Up for Life. Only 44 percent of children were restrained with either a seat belt or car seat before the program, yet 63 percent were restrained after the program.
Even more dramatic was the change in seating position among children. Eighty percent rode in the back seat before the program. After the program, 100 percent rode in the back seat.
We are currently implementing the program in Chicago and San Antonio. We’ll share the results from those cities once the program is complete.
> Visit the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for research and information about car seats, including recalls. You may also find child safety recommendations for all ages with instructional videos.
> The American Academy of Pediatrics offers Car Safety Seats: Information for Families for 2011. It includes guidance on shopping for car safety seats for infants to school-aged children, installation tips, frequently asked questions and information about seat belts for older children.
> Safe Kids maintains a database of locations where you can meet with certified child passenger safety technicians and learn how to properly install a car seat.
> Adults and teens will benefit from the information, activities and tips presented by the Toyota Teen Driver program. Take the “Heads Up” interactive challenge.
> Learn about driver safety courses and take a test to see whether you’re a smart driver. Also, find information about insurance discounts, vision tips and the best car features for caregivers at the AARP Driver Safety Program website.
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