Police officers seat belt use while on duty Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Typical seatbelt designs can interfere with police officers’ operational work by lengthening their response time in threatening situations. Therefore, in certain operational circumstances there is a direct conflict between operational safety (effective response to threat) and driving safety (seatbelt use). To evaluate this potential conflict, 341 police officers from the southeastern US completed a questionnaire that included work related and non-work related seatbelt usage information. Factor analysis revealed five influential and significant factors; (1) travel context, (2) crime context, (3) confidence in seatbelt design, (4) speed and distance of travel, and (5) seatbelt ergonomics. These results confirm that seatbelts themselves in police cruisers currently represent a real safety concern of police officers in high threat circumstances.

publication date

  • January 1, 2005