Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No.
DOT HS 809-182
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

1998 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey:
Volume 3
Child Safety Seat Report

5. Report Date
July, 2000 
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Alan W. Block, Office of Research and Traffic Records, NHTSA
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
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 Seventh Street, S.W., Room 6240 (NTS-30)
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Survey conducted 
Nov. 5, 1998 to Jan. 12, 1999
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
16. Abstract
The 1998 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey was the third 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 the firm Schulman, Ronca & Bucuvalas, Inc., a national survey research organization. The survey used two questionnaires, each administered to a randomly selected national sample of about 4,000 persons age 16 and older. Interviewing began November 5, 1998 and ended January 12, 1999. 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 (“1998 Motor Vehicle Occupant Safety Survey. Volume 1: Methodology Report”). 

The survey selected a subgroup of drivers to ask detailed questions about use of car seats. These were primarily parents and others who lived with children under the age of 6. This group of “parents/caregivers” tended to report that the (referent) child either used a car seat “all the time” (71%) or else never used a car seat (22%). Almost all infants reportedly used car seats “all of the time” if they weighed under 20 pounds (99%) or were under 2 years of age (98%). Discontinuation of car seat use by most children occurred when the child was 3 or 4 years old and exceeded 40 pounds. The most frequent reasons given for non-use of car seats among part time users were that the child did not like the seat (31%), the seat was unavailable (30%), or the child was only going to be in the car a short time (29%). If children never used car seats, it was because they were deemed too big (84%) and were using a seat belt (94%). Most parents/caregivers (76%) said they were aware of booster seats, but 21% had not heard of them and 3% were unsure. Among those who had heard of booster seats, 30% had concerns about their safety and another 7% were unsure. 

17. Key Words

Survey, booster seats, car seats, car seat use, child restraints, seating position

18. Distribution Statement

This document is available to the public from the National Technical Information Service, 
Springfield, VA 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

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