5. Conclusions

Seatbelt and Mobile Phone Usage Survey Scotland, 2017

5. Conclusions

5.1. Seatbelt survey

The 2017 seatbelt survey resulted 5,391 vehicles and 7,169 vehicle occupants being observed in Scotland. The results showed increased wearing rates for both drivers and front seat passengers in all vehicles, especially for front seat passengers in 'other vehicles' (vans, lorries, buses, coaches, and mini-buses). Despite an increase in wearing rates, seatbelt use among 'other vehicle' occupants remained notably lower than that of car occupants.

Drivers, as well as passengers, were more likely to wear a seatbelt in Scotland compared to England and Wales and Great Britain.

Seatbelt use among rear seat passengers has decreased from the 2014 figure. While wearing rates for car rear seat passengers has declined somewhat, the overall decrease is largely related to the inclusion of 'other vehicle' passengers who were excluded from the 2014 survey and as discussed, have lower seatbelt usage overall.

The survey found that female drivers were somewhat more likely to wear a seatbelt than their male counterparts. Wearing rates for car passengers were similarly high (around 98%) across gender, and seatbelt use was found to be generally high (above 98%) amongst car occupants of all ages.

Seatbelt use by car drivers in rural areas has increased while remaining static in urban areas. Wearing rates were found to be high throughout the day (generally above 97% for all occupants) whilst seatbelt use for drivers and front seat passengers was higher at weekends compared to weekdays, but lower for rear seat passengers.

5.2. Mobile phone survey

The mobile phone survey resulted in 14,427 drivers being observed in Scotland, including 8,354 drivers recorded at moving sites and 6,073 drivers at stationary sites. The 2017 survey showed increased mobile phone use for all vehicles which appeared to be driven by a significant increase in at-ear use. In-hand mobile phone use has remained static for car drivers but decreased for drivers of 'other vehicles'. Drivers in Scotland appeared marginally more likely to be recorded using a mobile phone at stationary sites compared to their counterparts in England and Wales.

Drivers were more likely to be recorded using a mobile phone at stationary sites compared to moving sites. 'Other vehicle' drivers had higher usage rates compared to car drivers across sites. Analysis of mobile phone use by gender revealed marginal differences between male and female drivers. Male drivers were somewhat more likely than female drivers to be recorded using a mobile phone at stationary sites, while female drivers were marginally more likely to use a mobile phone at moving sites.

Mobile phone use at major roads has decreased overall, while usage rates at stationary rural minor roads has significantly increased. Analysis according to time of day found that mobile phone use at moving sites fluctuates during the course of the day, while at stationary sites, mobile phone use appeared to increase as the day progressed. In addition to this, mobile phone use at moving sites was found to be higher during weekdays but higher at the weekend at stationary sites.