Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Does rear seat belt use vary according to socioeconomic status?
  1. Frances Colgan1,
  2. Amy Gospel1,
  3. Jo Petrie1,
  4. Jean Adams2,
  5. Peter Heywood2,
  6. Martin White2
  1. 1The Medical School, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2School of Population and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M White
 School of Population and Health Sciences, University of Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4HH, UK;

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Policy measures, including legislation, are one method of promoting health. Participation in many voluntary health promoting behaviours is strongly socioeconomically patterned,1 and this may also apply to behaviours governed by legislation.

Rear passenger seat belt use is one legally prescribed behaviour—having been made compulsory in the UK in 1991. Previous research on the socioeconomic distribution of seat belt use has relied on self reported behaviours and is therefore subject to response bias, has focused on driver seat belt use, or has been undertaken in the USA where legislation is different from the UK.2,3

We conducted the first UK based observational study to investigate the association between rear passenger seat belt use and socioeconomic status (SES), using car value as a proxy measure of SES.


We observed 1032 rear seat passengers (RSPs) in 773 cars at six locations with slow car flow (for example, roundabouts and junctions) in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK over …

View Full Text


  • Funding: none.

  • Conflicts of interest: none declared.

Linked Articles