Poland has low level of road safety, comparing to other European Union countries. The aim of the study carried out in 2015 was to learn what percentage of road users fasten seatbelts and use restraint systems for children in vehicles in Poland. The study was conducted by Motor Transport Institute and Heller Consult, commissioned by Secretary of National Road Safety Council in all 16 Polish voivodships. In each voivodship an external observation method was used on different road categories, in urban and nonurban areas and in voivodship capitals. To register the data, mobile application was utilized. Data on 220 701 passenger cars’ occupants and 2 859 children transported in passenger, delivery vehicles and lorries were collected.
The seatbelt wearing rate in passenger cars in 2015 was 91%. The seatbelts were used by 95% of drivers, 95% of front seat passengers and 76% of rear seat passengers. They were used more frequently by women (96%) than men (94%). Most often seatbelts were used by people aged 25–60 (95%), least often by the elderly (91%). On national roads seatbelts were used more often (94%) than on county roads (88%). Slightly higher rate of seatbelt use was observed in urban areas (95%) than in nonurban (94%). Even though there was an increase in seatbelt use in Poland in passenger and delivery cars, the use rate in delivery cars was 81% and in lorries – 75%.
The rate of restraint systems use for children in 2015 was 93%. In the front seat 94% of children were transported in restraint systems, in the rear seat – 93%.
The results of the conducted study indicate great increase over the previous years in the seatbelt and restraint systems use rate in all vehicles. This leads to conclusion that road safety improvement initiatives, including educational campaigns and enforcement are effective.