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P4.007 Back seat safety belt use and child restraint seat use in Japan
  1. Mellisa Ogasawara,
  2. Atsuko Chiba,
  3. Kie Kawauchi,
  4. Yoshihide Sorimachi
  1. Aomori University of Health and Welfare, Aomori, Japan


Background A national survey reported driver and front passenger seat belt use to be high in Japan, 98.9% and 95. 9% respectively in 2019. On the other hand, back seat safety belt use is alarmingly low at 39.2%. Child restraint seat (CRS) use has been mandatory since 2000, yet the survey reported the rate of use in 2019 to be only 70.5% for children under the age of 6. Additionally, the rate of use for 5-year-old children is dangerously low at 48%. The purpose of this study was to determine rear passenger seat belt use and CRS use on short-distance trips on local roads in a regional area of Japan.

Methods A cross-sectional survey using self-report questionnaires was performed at 78 nursery schools throughout Aomori prefecture. A descriptive analysis was performed on selected variables.

Results A total of 3021 valid responses (71.1% response rate) were returned. The number of respondents who always wore a seat belt traveling short-distance on local streets as a backseat passenger was significantly low (25.7%). Consistent CRS use on short trips using local roads was also considerably low with an average of 72.7%.

Conclusion Rear passenger seat belt use is very low, as is CRS use on short-distance trips on local roads in Aomori prefecture. Parents’ seat belt use as a backseat passenger may be affecting their behavior toward CRS use.

Learning Outcomes Interventions to increase the protection of children as passengers may need to address parents’ perceptions of rear-seat safety.

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