Use of protection devices

The purpose of the registration is to determine the development in the use of protection devices by drivers and passengers, and the motives for using these devices. During the last few years, attention has also been paid to seatbelt use in delivery vans and head rests in cars; and since 2000, also to airbags and ABS.


The data is used to prepare policy, measure effects of measures, and determine points of attention for policy, police, and public information organisations.


Up to and including 1998, SWOV handled the measurements, analysis, and reporting. Since 2000, TRC/BD has organised the measurements. Although an attempt was made to measure in the same way, differences may have occurred during the transition. The considerable increase in seatbelt use by car drivers could be due to that transition: up to 1998, 4% more front passengers than drivers used a seatbelt, and from 2000 onwards, 1% more drivers than passengers.

Available data

Observations of whether car occupants are wearing seatbelts and/or using child seats, and how head rests are adjusted, are made in a random sample of moving traffic. The study is made during four consecutive working days and weekend days from 7 to 17.30 h. There are 48 observation locations: in every province on four roads of various types, urban and rural.

The distant observations only provide seatbelt use by sex. If there are any rear car passengers, observations are made from close-by to see if the seatbelts are being used. Then, a questionnaire is also handed out. In this there are questions about knowledge about and attitude towards seatbelt wearing; since 2000, also about the presence of airbags and ABS.

Completeness of the data

The data provides a picture of the national developments in the use of protection devices in cars; linked to a number of personal characteristics, road features, and day of the week.

Since 1990, the sample has been much bigger because of attention being paid to seatbelt use on rear seats. That is why, since 1990, the data has been available per province. The distributions of other variables are only indicative.


Mulder, J.A.G. (1998). Gebruik van beveiligingsmiddelen in 1998. R-98-44. SWOV, Leidschendam.


AVV (2001) Gebruik van beveiligingsmiddelen in 2000. Onderzoek naar het gebruik van autogordels, hoofdsteunen en andere beveiligingsmiddelen in personenauto's en bestelauto's. Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat, Directoraat-Generaal Rijkswaterstaat, Adviesdienst Verkeer en Vervoer (AVV) te Heerlen, januari 2001. Uitvoering Grontmij; auteurs: Bekkum, P.H.G. van Wagemakers, J. & Hiddinga, S.K.