Effects of Driver Characteristics on Seat Belt Fit
A laboratory study of posture and belt fit was conducted with 46 men and 51 women, 61% of whom were age 60 years or older and 32% age 70 years or older. In addition, 28% of the 97 participants were obese, defined as body mass index ≥ 30 kg/m2. A mockup of a passenger vehicle driver's station was created and five belt anchorage configurations were produced by moving the buckle, outboard-upper (D-ring), and outboard-lower anchorages. An investigator recorded the three-dimensional locations of landmarks on the belt and the participant's body using a coordinate measurement machine. The location of the belt with respect to the underlying skeletal structures was analyzed, along with the length of belt webbing. Using linear regression models, an increase in age from 20 to 80 years resulted in the lap belt positioned 18 mm further forward relative to the pelvis, 26 mm greater lap belt webbing length, and 19 mm greater shoulder belt length.