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The percentage of individuals who report wearing their seat belt when in a vehicle is presented below. The impact that age and sex as well as various social variables have on individuals’ seat belt use is also presented.

Table 1: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Wearing their Seat Belt in a Vehicle, 2009 and 2010
 

Wears Seat Belt
When Driving
(Age 16 and above)
% (95% CI)

Wears Seat Belt
When Passenger in Front Seat
(Age 12 and above)
% (95% CI)

Wears Seat Belt
When in Back Seat
(Age 12 and above)
% (95% CI)

Always

93.9

(92.0-95.5)

94.4

(92.4-95.9 )

82.9

(78.7-86.4)

Most of the time

4.8

(3.4-6.8)

4.6

(3.2-6.5)

7.2

(5.3-9.7)

Rarely

NR

NR

4.6 E

(2.6-8.1)

Never 

NR

NR

5.3 E  

(3.5-8.2)

E Interpret with caution due to high sampling variability.
NR Not reportable due to high sampling variability.

Results indicate that the majority of individuals always wear their seat belt.  A significant difference in the number of people who always wear their seat belt is seen when the seating location of the individual is taken into account. Significantly more people report always wearing their seat belt when they are driving or a front seat passenger in comparison to those who report they wear it when they are a back seat passenger.

Table 2: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Always Wearing Their Seat Belt When in a Vehicle by Age and Sex, 2009-2010

Position in Vehicle

Male

Percent (95% CI)

Female

Percent (95% CI)

Both Sexes

Percent (95% CI)

Age as Noted to 19

     

Driver (age 16-19)

88.7 (60.1-97.6)

98.5 (87.3-99.8)

93.0 (74.8-98.3)

Front Passenger (age 12-19) 

85.9 (75.2-92.4)

93.3 (71.8-98.7)

89.6 (80.7-94.6)

Backseat (age 12-19)

75.6 (59.0-87.0)

74.2 (55.9-86.7)

74.9 (60.5-85.3)

Age 20 to 44

     

Driver

89.1 (82.2-93.6)

95.9 (91.7-98.0)

92.5 (88.7-95.1)

Front Passenger

92.8 (86.0-96.4)

95.1 (91.2-97.4)

93.9 (90.2-96.3)

Backseat

77.0 (68.9-83.5)

81.8 (74.4-87.4)

79.4 (74.3-83.7)

Age 45 to 64

     

Driver

91.4 (84.3-95.5)

99.0 (96.7-99.7)

95.4 (91.8-97.5)

Front Passenger

93.6 (86.9-97.0)

98.9 (97.4-99.6)

96.2 (92.8-98.1)

Backseat

89.1 (75.5-95.6)

83.7 (64.1-93.6)

86.3 (75.1-92.9)

Age 65 and over

     

Driver

89.7 (80.5-94.8)

99.7 (97.9-100.0)

94.8 (89.9-97.4)

Front Passenger

90.9 (82.4-95.5)

99.4 (97.4-99.9)

95.7 (92.0-97.7)

Backseat

93.2 (83.7-97.3)

92.0 (83.8-96.3)

92.5 (87.4-95.7)

All Ages 

     

Driver

90.0 (86.2-92.9)

97.8 (95.9-98.8)

93.9 (92.0-95.5)

Front Passenger

91.9 (88.6-94.3)

96.8 (94.4-98.2)

94.4 (92.4-95.9)

Backseat

82.7 (77.6-86.9)

83.0 (76.6-87.9)

82.9 (78.7-86.4)

When sex is examined alone it is found that significantly more females than males always wear their seat belt when they are driving or are a front passenger. When age is examined alone there is no difference in the percentage of people who use their seat belt when they are drivers nor when they are front seat passengers. There is a significant difference in the percentage of people who wear seat belts when they are backseat passengers. Those aged 65 and above are significantly more likely to wear their seat belt when sitting in the back than are those aged 44 and under.

When age and sex are examined together it is found that males aged 65 and older are significantly more likely than males aged 20 to 44 to wear their seat belt when in the back seat of the car. For females there are no significant differences in seat belt usage in the back seat. Finally, when use of a seat belt as a front seat passenger is examined for those aged 65 and older there is a significant difference in the percentage of women who report always wearing it verses the number of men, with more women reporting they always where their seat belt when front seat passengers. 

Table 3: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Always Wearing Their Seat belt When in a Vehicle by Income Quintile, 2009-2010

Position in Vehicle

Quintile 1
Lowest
Income
% (95% CI)

Quintile 2
% (95% CI)

Quintile 3
% (95% CI)

Quintile 4
% (95% CI)

Quintile 5
Highest

Income
% (95% CI)

Driver
(Age 16 and above)

94.8

(88.9-97.6)

94.7

(90.7-97.1)

95.5

(91.2-97.8)

95.1

 (90.5-97.6)

90.1

(82.7-94.6)

Front Passenger
(Age 12 and above)

94.7

(88.4-97.7)

96.75

(93.7-98.4)

95.74

(92.0-97.8)

94.3

(90.0-96.8)

90.4

(82.6-94.9)

Backseat
(Age 12 and above)

78.5

(67.9-86.3)

77.2

(63.7-86.7)

89.8

(83.0-94.1)

86.4

(79.6-91.1)

82.0

(73.0-88.4)

There are no significant differences in seat belt usage based on income. 

Table 4: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Always Wearing Their Seat Belt When in a Vehicle by Education Level, 2009-2010

Position in Vehicle

Less Than
Secondary School

% (95% CI)

Less Than
Secondary School

% (95% CI)

Some Post-
Secondary

% (95% CI)

Post-Secondary
Graduate

% (95% CI)

Driver
(Age 16 and above)

90.5

(83.6-94.7)

97.4

(94.2-98.8)

93.5

(84.2-97.5)

93.8

(90.7-95.8)

Front Passenger
(Age 12 and above)

91.4

(85.7-95.0)

95.6

(90.1-98.1)

95.0

(85.9-98.4)

95.1

(92.1-97.0)

Backseat
(Age 12 and above)

80.2

(70.6-87.2)

87.2

(79.1-92.4)

86.0 

(75.0-92.7)

81.9

(75.4-86.9)

There are no significant differences in seat belt usage based on highest education level. 

Table 5: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Always Wearing Their Seat Belt When in a Vehicle by Minority Status, 2009-2010

Position in Vehicle

White
% (95% CI)

Minority
% (95% CI)

Driver
(Age 16 and above)

93.4

(91.1-95.2)

97.9

(93.5-99.4)

Front Passenger
(Age 12 and above)

93.7

(91.3-95.4)

97.7

(94.2-99.2)

Backseat
(Age 12 and above)

86.2

(82.1-89.5)

61.8

(46.2-75.2)

E Interpret with caution due to high sampling variability. 

Results indicate that significantly fewer individuals with a minority background reporting wearing their seat belt when they are in the back seat in comparison to individuals with a white racial background. For both groups individuals are significantly less likely to report wearing their seat belt while in the back seat in comparison to when they are driving or when they are passengers in the front seat.   

Table 6: Percentage of Individuals Who Report Always Wearing Their Seat Belt When in a Vehicle by Immigration Status, 2009-2010

Position in Vehicle

Born in Canada
% (95% CI)

Immigrant
% (95% CI)

Driver (Age 16 and above)

93.0

(90.4-94.9)

97.0

(93.9-98.5)

Front Passenger (Age 12 and above)

93.4

(90.8-95.2)

97.6

(95.1-98.8)

Backseat (Age 12 and above)

86.1

(81.8-89.5)

72.3

(61.1-81.2)

Similar to the analysis conducted by minority status, when immigration status is examined it is found that significantly fewer individuals who immigrated to Canada report wearing their seat belt when they are in the back seat in comparison to individuals who were born in Canada. For both groups individuals are significantly less likely to report wearing their seat belt while in the back seat in comparison to when they are driving or when they are passengers in the front seat.   

Data Notes

  1. Data Source: Canadian Community Health Survey, [2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012], Share File, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care.
  2. The Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) collects data through participant self-report. Data collected through self-report can be biased due to inaccurate memory or because of social desirability. Social desirability happens when individuals answer questions in a manner that they think will be viewed favourably, and is more likely to occur when individuals are answering sensitive questions.
  3. 95% CI = 95% confidence interval. The 95% confidence interval provides a range within which we are 95% confident that the true population proportion (%) falls. If a stated result percentage is 18% with a 95% CI of 15.0-21.0%, we can be 95% confident that the true percentage lies within the range of 15.0% to 21.0%. The wider the confidence interval, the more variability there is, and the less precise the estimate.
  4. Not Stated and Don’t Know responses were excluded from analysis.
  5. Significant differences were determined based on non-overlapping confidence intervals.
  6. Understanding income quintiles used in this report: The Canadian Community Health Survey contains a variable that groups Windsor-Essex survey respondents into one of 10 income deciles. Each decile contains 10% of the sample population. So that the lowest or first decile contains the 10% of the population that has the lowest household income, and the highest or 10th decile contains the 10% of the sample population that has the highest household income. The calculation takes into account reported household income, low-income cut-off values, household size, and community size. For the purposes of this report, deciles were used to create quintiles for ease of analysis and interpretation (quintiles are fifths, and so each quintile contains 20% of the sample population). The lowest two deciles were combined to make the lowest quintile, the third and fourth deciles were combined to create the second lowest quintile, and so forth, with the two highest income deciles being combined to make the highest income quintile.
  7. A white ethnic background was defined as an individual who reported that their ethnicity was white. All other ethnicities were coded as minority.
  8. Immigrant was defined as someone who had ever immigrated to Canada.
  9. The geographical area of Windsor-Essex County represents the population of the entire county of Essex and includes all municipalities within the county.
  10. Age standardized statistics available upon request.