Modelling factors that impact the use of child safety seats for nursery school travel




child car seats, child restraint systems, preschool children, socioeconomic status


Children, as one of the most vulnerable road user groups, are exposed to a high risk of traffic crash-related injuries and fatalities. Children’s incomplete physical and cognitive development leads to inaccurate detection of traffic hazards and inadequate road crossing decisions. When young children travel as car occupants, their body structures are immature, and restraint over larger and sometimes different body areas is necessary. Therefore, children’s vulnerability as car occupants is subject to their age and physical development. This research investigates factors influencing child car seat usage, particularly child restraint systems or booster seats, for commuting to nursery schools. An experimental study was conducted in three suburbs of Athens, Greece, with distinctive socioeconomic status (SES) and built environment characteristics. For this purpose, a self-administered parental questionnaire was completed for 734 children attending municipality nursery schools, exploring the traffic safety practices for preschool children, child-parent interactions, the parent’s risk perception, behaviour, and knowledge of traffic safety. Responses reveal that the surveyed children—irrespective of the residence area—travel to the nursery school mainly as car occupants (89.6% overall, ranging between 84.8% for the area with the lowest SES and 96.1% for the area with the highest SES). In addition, the results indicate that three-quarters of the children are often placed in a car seat, while almost one-quarter are never restrained. Regression and structural equation models are estimated and used to examine factors affecting the usage of child safety seats. Finally, conclusions are drawn, along with suggestions to overcome the limitations and complete this research with ongoing and future data collection and analyses.


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Author Biographies

Ioanna Armouti, Swiss Approval International, Greece

Ioanna Armouti is a Certification Manager in the Swiss Approval Technische Bewertung. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, and PgD in Conservation of Historic Buildings from University of Bath.

CRediT contribution: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology, Writing—original draft.

Roja Ezzati Amini, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Roja Ezzati Amini, Ph.D., was a Research Associate in the Chair of Transportation Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Germany. She received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from University of Tabriz, M.S. in Transport Planning and Engineering from University of Leeds, and Ph.D. degree from the Technical University of Munich. Her research focuses on traffic safety, road user behavior, and human factors.

CRediT contribution: Writing—original draft, Writing—review and editing.

Constantinos Antoniou, Technical University of Munich, Germany

Constantinos Antoniou is a Full Professor in the Chair of Transporta-tion Systems Engineering at the Technical University of Munich, Ger-many. He holds a Diploma in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, a M.S., in Transportation and a Ph.D. in Transportation Systems, both from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on modelling and optimization of transportation systems, data analytics and machine learning for trans-portation systems, and human factors for future mobility systems.

CRediT contribution: Supervision, Writing—review and editing.


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How to Cite

Armouti, I., Ezzati Amini, R., & Antoniou, C. (2022). Modelling factors that impact the use of child safety seats for nursery school travel. Traffic Safety Research, 3, 000018.