In this report, the effectiveness and usage of seatbelts by Kentucky motorists and factors affecting usage are examined and identified. Data were obtained from three sources: field observations, accident reports, and a questionnaire.

Kentucky drivers and passengers were found to have lower seatbelt usage rates (slightly under 10 percent) than drivers and passengers in other states. The accident data showed that the chances of being killed or severely injured is greatly reduced by wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts reduced the chance of being killed by a factor of six and the chance of being severely injured by a factor of two. Several factors were found to have significant effects on seatbelt usage. Among other factors, usage was higher among drivers over 25 years of age, in newer cars, on interstates and parkways, in large cities, in out-of-state cars, and among drivers with a college education. Records of drivers who wear seatbelts were found to be better than records of those who do not wear seatbelts. It was found that approximately one-third of the drivers were in favor, one-third were neutral, and one-third were against a mandatory, seatbelt usage law.

Report Date


Report Number

No. 487

Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Bureau of Highways. The report does not represent a standard. specification, or regulation.