Knowledge, Beliefs, and Practices Concerning Seat Belt Use during Pregnancy

Gerald McGwin*, Susan R. Russell, Robert L. Rux, Charles A. Leath, Francesca Valent, Loring W. Rue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study seeks to evaluate the comprehension of and attitudes toward proper restraint use among women attending prenatal care clinics. Methods: Four-hundred and fifty women were asked to complete a survey during prenatal care visits at county health department clinics; the response rate was 92.0%. Women were asked to provide demographic information and report their frequency and knowledge of proper automobile restraint use. Results: Nearly all subjects (95.4%) either maintained or increased their pre-pregnancy frequency of restraint use. Three-hundred (72.5%) subjects demonstrated that they wore their restraints in the correct location, with women who wore restraints more frequently being more likely to report correct placement. Two-hundred and forty-nine (60.1%) of women reported that restraints would protect their baby if they were involved in a collision, while 48 (11.6%) thought the restraints would cause injury to their baby, and 153 (37.0%) were unsure. Women who reported that restraints would protect them and their baby if involved in a collision were significantly more likely to report always wearing restraints compared with those who were unsure or had negative perceptions of restraints (84.4% vs. 64.6%; p < 0.0001). The most commonly reported reasons for lack of restraint use were lack of comfort (52.8%) and forgetfulness (42.5%). Only 36.9% percent of women reported receiving information regarding restraint use during their current pregnancy. Conclusions: Many gravid women lack information regarding proper seat belt use and their role in injury prevention. Consequently, the frequency of seat belt use and its correct placement are negatively impacted. Health care workers should take an active role in educating pregnant gravid women about proper restraint use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)670-675
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Health behavior
  • Health education
  • Motor vehicle collision
  • Patient education
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal care
  • Seat belts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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