1998 SURVEY RESULTS

CHAPTER 2

TRANSPORTERS OF YOUNG CHILDREN

Driving With A Child Under Age 6

More than four-out-of-ten drivers (44%) [1] had in the past year driven a motor vehicle with a child under age 6 as a passenger. Seventeen percent had driven a child in that age range who lived in their household. A larger percentage of the driver population (28%)* did not live with a child under the age of six but nonetheless had driven a child of that age in the past year. Thus efforts to educate the public about the importance of proper restraint use by children would miss a large proportion of drivers who transport children if limited to those residing in the child's household.

Figure 18

Qx: In the past 12 months, have you driven with any children under age 6?
Base: Drives a motor vehicle. Unweighted N=3788
*Includes 11 drivers who drove children living outside household, but not children living within.

 [1]This figure differs from the sum of the two components presented in Figure 18 due to rounding (16.8% + 27.7% = 44.4%). Similar differences appear on other pages in this report.

Drivers Who Do Not Live With The Child

Whereas the majority of drivers who had transported a child under age six in the past year did not live with a child that age, their frequency of transporting young children would be expected to be less than that of drivers who live with young children. Figure 19 suggests that is the case. More than half (52%) of drivers who drove with a child passenger under age 6 in the past year, despite not living with a child in that age range, did so only a few days a year. Still, 18% of these drivers drove one or more young children either almost every day (3%) or a few days a week (15%). Another 29% drove one or more young children a few days a month.

Figure 19

Qx: How often do you drive with children under six?
Base: Does not live with a child under age six, but has driven with child passengers in that age range in the past year.
Unweighted N=1028
* DK = Don't Know
Ref = Refused

When asked their relationship to the young child(ren) outside their household whom they drove, 40% said that they were the grandparents. Small percentages answered that they were the parents/step-parents (3%) or were siblings (1%). Far more (34%) responded that they were some “other relative” than those just mentioned. One percent said they were teachers or bus drivers and 23% said they were some other non-relative.

Figure 20

Qx: What is your relationship to the child or children under age 6 that you at least sometimes drive with?
Base: Does not live with a child under age six, but has driven with child passengers in that age range in the past year (excludes 3 cases where no driving frequency was given).
Unweighted N = 1025

As shown on the previous page, persons who did not live with a young child but had driven one or more young children in the past year most often said they were the child(ren)'s grandparents or “other relatives.” Figure 21 compares these two groups in their reported frequency of driving young children. It shows that grandparents transported young children more often compared to “other relatives.” Among drivers who did not live with a young child but said they drove a young grandchild in the past year, 60% answered that they drove their grandchild at least a few days a month. The comparable figure was 40% for “other relatives” (excluding parents and siblings). It was 47% for all drivers not living with a young child, relatives and nonrelatives combined.

Figure 21

Qx: What is your relationship to the child or children under age 6 that you at least sometimes drive with?
Qx: How often do you drive with children under six?
Base: Does not live with a child under age six, but has driven with child passengers in that age range in the past year.
Unweighted N's listed above. *Excludes parents/step-parents and siblings.

At this point in the interview, those respondents who said they were the parents of the children outside the household they had driven were skipped to a section of the survey asking detailed child restraint questions. The interviewers asked the remaining respondents (the grandparents, other relatives, other non-relatives, etc.) how often the child(ren) used restraints when riding with them. Almost all (*95%) said that the child was in a child car seat or else a seat belt either all the time (91%) or most of the time (5%).

Figure 22

Qx: When you are driving and children under age 6 are riding with you, would you say that they are in a child car seat or a seat belt all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, rarely, or never?
Base: Does not live with a child under age 6, but has driven with child passengers in that age range in the past year (who were not their own children).
Unweighted N=990
*90.8% + 4.5%