Official Statistics

Seatbelt and mobile phone use surveys: 2009 results

This publication presents estimates of seatbelt wearing rates and mobile phone use by drivers in England. Estimates of seatbelt wearing rates for Scotland are also included. Surveys were carried out in October and November 2009.

Documents

Seatbelt and mobile phone usage surveys: England and Scotland 2009

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Seat belt wearing rates: 2009 Survey results for England and Scotland

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Mobile phone use by drivers: 2009 Survey results for England

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Detail

This publication presents estimates of seatbelt wearing rates and mobile phone use by drivers in England. Estimates of seatbelt wearing rates for Scotland are also included. Surveys were carried out in October and November 2009.

The statistics in these releases are not designated as National Statistics.

The main results from the seatbelt survey for England are:

  • The proportion of car drivers observed wearing seat belts has not changed since the 2008 survey, remaining at 95% in 2009.
  • The proportion of car front seat passengers observed wearing seat belts or child restraints has decreased slightly from 96% in 2008 to 95% in 2009.
  • The proportion of car rear seat passengers observed wearing seat belts or child restraints has risen to 89% in 2009 from 88% in 2008.

The main results from the mobile phone use survey are:

  • Since the last survey in September 2008, the proportion of drivers observed using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving increased (from 1.1% to 1.4% for car drivers and from 2.2% to 2.6% for van and lorry drivers).
  • An increase in the number of drivers who appear to be using hands free mobile phones (from 0.5% to 1.4% for car drivers and from 1.1% to 2.4% for van and lorry drivers) was observed in the same period.

Technical information

  • The Department for Transport has commissioned regular surveys of seatbelt wearing in England since 1988. Surveys take place at 32 sites in two areas centred on Nottingham and Crowthorne. They are undertaken during daylight hours, and involve survey staff located at light controlled junctions making observations about seatbelt and child restraint use by vehicle occupants. In 2009, an additional survey was conducted at 21 sites in Scotland, using the same methodology.
  • Surveys to monitor mobile phone use by drivers have been carried out since 2002. Each year the survey is carried out at 30 sites in the South East of England. Surveys take place throughout daylight hours and involve observers recording mobile phone use by drivers in free-flowing traffic, aided by a mobile phone detector.
  • For both surveys, sites are chosen to cover a selection of road types, speed limits and rural/urban locations, and results are weighted to represent the traffic distribution at national level. These surveys are based on selected areas of the country and therefore the results will not necessarily be nationally representative. However, the survey sites used are consistent over time.

Information on Road Safety statistics and definitions, including the pre-release access list, and other relevant publications can be found here.

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