SEAT BELT USE AND REMINDER SYSTEMS: ASSESSING THE ACCEPTABILITY OF INTELLIGENT SEAT BELT REMINDER SYSTEMS
The likely introduction of intelligent seat belt reminder systems led to a project to develop a method to assess the acceptability of intelligent transport system technologies and to apply the method to intelligent seat belt reminder systems. Both SAAB and Volvo intend to introduce seat belt reminder systems that are designed to be invisible to vehicle occupants who use their seat belts and to annoy occupants who do not use their seat belts. The assessment method involved simulating the social processes likely to associated with the introduction of new in-vehicle technologies, combined with measurement of individual responses to the technology. The application of the method to a sample of drivers who were identified as less likely than others to wear seat belts involved conducting 12 discussion groups. The results of this study suggested that the main reason for non-use of seat belts relates to forgetfulness or failure of early driving cues to generate appropriate seat belt behaviour. They also suggest that the response of non-users to the seat belt reminder system is likely to be very positive.