Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Munsterman

Second Advisor

Dr. Dave Lyth

Third Advisor

Dr. Frank Wolf

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Seat belts have been shown to be effective in reducing car crash fatalities and injuries. Despite consistent evidence that seat belts when worn can provide the greatest vehicle occupant protection of all currently available occupant restraint systems, seat belt use rates remain low. The rates of occupants wearing seat belts in rear seats is much lower than front seat occupants. One of the primary causes for occupants not using seat belts in rear seats has been lack of comfort. The purpose of this thesis was to study the relationship of comfort and seat belt use in rear seats. The current study primarily focuses on lap belts in the rear seats as these are still the most widely used rear seat restraint systems. The results indicated that comfort plays a significant role in rear seat belt usage. Subjects showing higher levels of discomfort reported lower usage of seat belts. The results also showed that an increase in both body and belt factors was significant for increasing rear seat belt usage rates.