Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Prev Med. 2007 Sep;33(3):200-6.

Seat belt use among American Indians/Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic whites.

Author information

Laboratory of Epidemiology, Demography, and Biometry, National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-9205, USA.



Accidents (including motor vehicle injuries) are a leading cause of death among American Indians/Alaskan Natives (AI/AN). The purpose of this study was to examine geographic variation and the existence of a seat belt law on seat belt use among AI/AN and non-Hispanic whites (NHW).


Self-reported seat belt behavior data from the 1997 and 2002 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were analyzed in 2006-2007 and were restricted to AI/AN (n=4,310 for 2002, and n=1,758 for 1997) and NHW (n=193,617 for 2002, and n=108,551 for 1997) aged 18 years and older.


Seat belt non-use varied significantly across geographic regions for both AI/AN and NHW. For example, AI/AN living in the Northern Plains (odds ratio [OR]=12.4, 95% confidence interval [CI]=6.5-23.7) and Alaska (OR=10.3, 95%CI=5.3-19.9) had significantly higher seat belt non-use compared to AI/AN living in the West. In addition, compared to those residing in urban areas, those living in rural areas were 60% more likely in NHW and 2.6 times more likely in AI/AN not to wear a seat belt. Both AI/AN and NHW living in states without primary seat belt laws were approximately twice as likely to report seat belt non-use in 2002 as those living in states with primary laws. In states with primary laws enacted between 1997 and 2002, AI/AN experienced greater decline in seat belt non-use than NHW.


Seat belt use among AI/AN and NHW varied significantly by region and urban-rural residency in 2002. Primary seat belt laws appear to help reduce regional and racial disparities in seat belt non-use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center