Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

  DOT HS 809 858

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle

2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey Volume 5
Child Safety Seat Report

5. Report Date

March 2005

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)
John M. Boyle and Patricia Vanderwolf
Schulman, Ronca and Bucuvalas, Inc.

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc.
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 820
Silver Spring, MD 20910

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Research and Technology
400 Seventh Street, S.W. Room 5119 (NTI-130)
Washington, D.C. 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Survey conducted Jan. 8, 2003 to
March 30, 2003

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

16. Abstract

 The 2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey was the fifth in a series of biennial national telephone surveys on occupant protection issues conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Data collection was conducted by Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc., a national survey research organization. The survey used two questionnaires, each administered to a randomly selected national sample of about 6,000 persons age 16 or older. Interviewing began January 8, 2003 and ended March 30, 2003. This report presents the survey findings pertaining to child restraint use. Detailed information on the survey methodology, as well as copies of the questionnaires, are contained in a separate NHTSA report (“2003 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey. Volume 1. Methodology Report”).

Among drivers who lived with children age 12 or younger, most indicated that the youngest child typically rode in the back seat. Parents/caregivers of children under the age of 9 usually said the (referent) child either used a child car seat all the time (60%) or never (32%). If the child never used a car seat, it usually was because the child had graduated to safety belt use. However, 29% of the children who never used a car seat but wore safety belts said the shoulder belt cut across their face or neck on most trips, 25% usually put the shoulder belt behind their back, and 17% put the shoulder belt under their arm. Most children ages 6 through 8 discontinued using child car seats (including booster seats). Although booster seats are recommended for most children ages 4 through 8, the survey found only 21% of children in that age range using them and another 19% using front-facing child safety seats. While most parents/caregivers (85%) had heard of booster seats, 22% of these had concerns about their safety.

17. Key Words

Booster seats
Occupant Protection
Car Seat Use
Car Seats
Seating Position
Child Safety Seats

18. Distribution Statement

Document is available to the public through the
National Technical Information Service,
Springfield, Virginia 22161

19. Security Classif. (Of this report)

20. Security Classif. (Of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)                             Reproduction of completed page authorized