Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Nancy Dishner

Committee Members

Russell F. West, Scott H. Beck, Terrence A. Tollefson


Personal lifestyle and behavior are associated with the 10 leading causes of death for Americans. Motor vehicle crashes kill more than 40,000 people and injure more than 3 million people annually in the United States, representing one of America's most serious health and economic problems. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), someone in America is injured in a motor vehicle crash every 14 seconds and someone is killed every 12 minutes (as cited in Ad Council, 2003). It is widely accepted that increased use of safety belts and reductions in driving while impaired are two of the most effective means to reduce the risk of death and serious injury of occupants in motor vehicle crashes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NHTSA monitor the use of seat belts by surveying the population. The CDC annually conducts a telephone survey called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The NHTSA conducts an observational survey called the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).

The purpose of this study was to examine three questions when estimating safety belt use in the United States: (1) Does the BRFSS differ from NOPUS? (2) Is there regional variation in the differences between BRFSS and NOPUS? (3) Do BRFSS and NOPUS data differ significantly depending on whether the safety belt law is primary, secondary, or none?

In this study, the two surveys were compared. Three research hypotheses were tested in the null format at the .05 level of significance using a two-tailed test. The z test was used to determine the difference in the nominal data of the two independent proportions.

The results of the study revealed that there is a difference between the self-reported BRFSS survey and the NOPUS observational data.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.