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Seatbelt use among university students from 26 low-, middle- and high-income countries

Karl Peltzer
Supa Pengpid


The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of self-reported seatbelt use and sociodemographic, health risk behaviour and social-legal correlates among university students in 26 low-, middle- and high-income countries. Using anonymous questionnaires, data were collected from 16 770 undergraduate university students (mean age 20.9, SD=2.9) from 23 universities in 26 countries across Asia, Africa and the Americas. Results indicate that the percentage of university students reporting to be inconsistently using a seatbelt were 54.7% for all countries, 56.0% for men and 53.7% for women. In multivariate logistic regression, younger age, poorer family background, living in a low-income or lower-middle-income country, having no national seatbelt law or a law that does not apply to all occupants, poor attitudes towards seatbelt use, not always following the speed limit, having depressive symptoms, drug use, and low physical activity were associated with self-reported inconsistent seatbelt use. High selfreported inconsistent seatbelt use was found and several risk factors were identified which can be utilised in seatbelt use promotion programmes.

Keywords: seatbelt use, traffic-related behaviour, health risk behaviour, depression, legislation, university students, multi-country