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Correlates of seat belt use among Turkish front seat occupants

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2005
Şimşekoğlu, Özlem
This thesis included three separate studies, which were observational, interview and survey studies, on seat belt use among Turkish front seat occupants. The observation study investigated occupant characteristics and environmental factors affecting seat belt use. Seat belts were used significantly more among females and older occupants than among males and younger occupants; and on intercity roads, at weekends and in the afternoons than on city roads, at weekdays and in the evenings. The interview study investigated the common reasons for using and not using a seat belt in different trip types, qualitatively. Safety, situational conditions, habit and avoiding punishment were the commonly reported reasons for using a seat belt, while situational conditions, not believing the effectiveness of seat belt use, discomfort and no habit of using a seat belt were the commonly reported reasons for not using a seat belt, for most of the trip types. In the third study, seat belt use both on urban and rural roads were explained with the basic and extended Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) models and Health Belief Model (HBM), using Structural Equation Modeling. Basic TPB model showed a good fit to the data, while extended TPB model and HBM showed a low fit to the data. Within TPB constructs, attitudes and the subjective norm had a positive and significant relation to intentions to use a seat belt. Results were discussed for their implications to traffic safety in Turkey, along with limitations of the study and suggestions for further studies.