Consistent complaints of discomfort, confusion and inconvenience as reasons for ignoring seat belts prompted this study. Focus of the study was to identify specific complaints, make design modifications where indicated, and subject the optimized configuration to consumer scrutiny. Included in the paper are discussions of problem analysis, methods of evaluation, experimentation and testing of findings in controlled situations.Initial surveys indicated a correlation between design features and general complaints. To improve the design, various factors were considered, including range of users (including those with manipulation problems), preferences in buckle, latchplate and button design, and tension limits An optimized system resulted.Six vehicle systems, including two optimized belt designs and two semi-passive designs were tested in various trials. The optimized systems rated consistently higher, indicating that consumer complaints can be interpreted and translated into design improvements.