The latest national survey of safety belt use in New Zealand by adults in the rear seats of cars was carried out in November and December 2014.

More than 11,000 adults seated in the rear seats of cars were observed at 139 sites around the country. As in previous years, each site was surveyed between 2 pm and 4 pm on Sunday afternoons during the school term. Only adults seated in the rear left and right window positions were included in the survey.

In 2014, the safety belt wearing rate for rear seat adult passengers was 92 percent. This is an increase from 90 percent in 2011, 88 percent in 2010 and 87 percent in 2007, 2008 and 2009 (see Table 1).

Table 1: Safety belt wearing rates for adults in the rear seat (%)
Category20022003200420052006200720082009201020112014
Males 76 78 82 84 86 84 83 84 87 88 90*
Females 83 84 88 89 91 90 89 90 88 92* 94*
Van passengers 69 72 72 75 79 75 75 75 78 87* 82*
New Zealand 80 81 86 86 89 87 87 87 88 90* 92*

*Statistically significant change from last year.

Female rear seat passengers continued to have a higher safety belt wearing rate than males (see Table 1). All adult passengers had a lower wearing rate in vans.

Figure 1: Safety belt wearing rates for adults in the rear seat, 1999-2011

Graph of rear seat safety belt wearing rate