Date of Award

12-2006

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Ogle, Jennifer H

Abstract

A number of factors and accessories help save lives and prevent injuries to road users, yet safety belts have become synonymous with automobile safety today, unlike any accessory before or since their introduction in automobiles. However, the scientific advances in automobile safety, followed by the acceptance of the necessity for safety in automobiles by both the manufacturers and the population, finally leading to the introduction of safety features and their incorporation within the laws occurred over a much longer span, continuing even today. Today's Safety movement aims at increasing safety belt using an awareness campaigns, accompanied by enforcement. Safety belt use is tracked before and after such campaigns to gauge the impact on belt use. South Carolina modified its safety belt law to Primary Law on 11th December 2005, and simultaneously implemented an awareness campaign followed by enforcement. This study tracks the effect of the campaign on daytime and nighttime belt use. The population was broken down into categories based on gender and vehicle type, and belt for each was tracked before and after the campaign. The locations for daytime and nighttime were decided in advance, and remained same for the before and after surveys. The belt use was then statistically analyzed to determine significant increases. The results indicate that campaign had a minimal effect on belt use, and was not able to significantly increase the belt use. Also the increase in belt use is visible only on the nighttime belt use with daytime use for categories either constant or reducing after the campaign.

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