The Characteristics of Pregnant Women Who Use Rear Seats and the Factors Associated with Rear Seat Belt Use in a Suburban Area of Japan
Abstract Objective: This study was conducted to identify high-risk pregnant women by examining the characteristics of pregnant women who do not normally use rear seat belts in automobiles during pregnancy among actual rear seat users in a provincial city of Japan. Methods: We employed a descriptive analysis of cross-sectional survey data collected via self-administered questionnaires at seven obstetric facilities in Maebashi. We analyzed the data of 1,085 pregnant women. Results: A total of 72.1% (782/1,085) of the women rode in the front passenger seat during pregnancy, and 27.9% (303/1,085) rode in the rear passenger seat. The percentages of nulliparous and parous women who used front passenger seats before and during pregnancy were 69.6% (536/770) and 30.4% (234/770), respectively. The percentages of those who used the rear passenger seats before and during pregnancy were 3.2% (8/248) and 96.8% (240/248), respectively. The factors associated with rear seat use by parous pregnant women before and during pregnancy were having one child and an educational attainment of a bachelor’s degree or above. The factors associated with starting, maintaining, or increasing regular rear seat belt use by parous pregnant women after pregnancy began were having a higher education, having one child, and perceiving that seat belt use during pregnancy is compulsory. Conclusion: These results suggest that targeting the health education of parous women and encouraging them to wear seat belts during pregnancy may lead to an increase in the number of rear seat belt users in further longitudinal studies.