Correcting Sample Selection in FARS Data to Estimate Seatbelt Use

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In this paper, we use 2006 FARS data to estimate seatbelt use in the United States. We apply a method to correct the FARS data for sample selection bias introduced by Levitt and Porter (2001), as well as discuss the advantages of using FARS data for seatbelt analysis. Furthermore, based on assumptions of independence for seatbelt choice, we establish a lower and upper bound for seatbelt usage rates, and that once we correct for sample selection bias, the seatbelt usage estimates from the corrected FARS emerge at least as a comparable alternative to NOPUS estimates. This implies that researchers can use corrected FARS to complement NOPUS, thus being able to utilize the rich cross-sectional details available in FARS data to analyze various relevant research questions.

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This is an author-produced, peer-reviewed version of this article. © 2009, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License ( The final, definitive version of this document can be found online at Journal of Safety Research, doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2009.09.002