The safety implications of vehicle seat adjustments

John D. Hill, Linda Ng Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The goal of this study was to gather information on the preferred front seat position of vehicle occupants and to determine the impact of variation in seat position on safety during crashes. Method: The study evaluated the relationship between seat position and occupant size using the chi-square test and compared the risk of severe injury for small females and large males with regard to forward and rearward seat position using logistic regression. Results: While smaller drivers sat closer to the steering wheel than larger drivers, front passengers of all sizes used similar seat positions. Additionally, the risk of injury was higher for small, unbelted females in rearward seat positions and large males (belted and unbelted) in forward seat positions. Conclusions: Occupants who adjust their seats to positions that are not consistent with required federal tests are at a greater risk for severe injury in a crash.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006


  • Driver and occupant
  • Gender differences
  • Injury severity
  • Injury type
  • Risks
  • Seat positions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality


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