Indicate the driver’s use of safety/restraint equipment (or the helmet use by a motorcyclist) at the time of the crash.


The restraint/safety equipment in use by a driver, passenger or non-motorist, or the helmet used by a motorcyclist at the time of the crash.


Proper classification of the use of available occupant restraint systems and helmet use is vital to evaluating the effectiveness of such equipment.

Code Attribute Definition Example
0 None Used This attribute is used for persons that did not use a restraint in a seat position where there was a restraint available. In the case of a motorcycle occupant without a helmet, indicate no helmet.
1 Shoulder and Lap Belt Occupant restraint system where both the shoulder belt and lap belt portions are connected to a buckle.
2 Lap Belt Only Use of a lap safety belt either because the motor vehicle is equipped only with lap belt or because the shoulder belt is not in use.
3 Shoulder Belt Only In a two-part occupant restraint system, only the shoulder belt portion is connected to a buckle.
4 Child Safety Seat Child passenger seated in a forward or rear facing child safety seat. This does not imply correct use or placement of the seat.
5 Helmet (Motorcycle Only) Motorcycle helmets complying with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards typically weigh approximately 3 pounds, have an inner liner at least one-inch thick of firm polystyrene foam, have an inside label that states the manufacturer, model, and date of manufacture, and have a DOT sticker on the back of the helmet. A DOT sticker alone is not sufficient evidence to indicate that the helmet is DOT compliant, as counterfeit stickers have been found affixed to non-compliant helmets.
6 Helmet Safety helmet worn by non-motorist (bicyclist, skateboarder, etc.).
7 Protective Pads (Elbows, Knees, Etc.) Padded, shaped attachments were used by the non-motorist to protect specific areas of the body (elbows, knees, shins, etc.).
8 Reflective Clothing Wearable items that reflect light and also return most of that reflection back along the path of the incoming light.
9 Lighting Non-motorist use of lights as safety equipment on his/her person, on a motor vehicle not in transport, or on transport vehicles other than a motor vehicle.
10 Other This attribute is used when some other type of restraint, not described in the previous attributes, was being used at the time of the crash. (e.g. a person restrained in a wheelchair). This would not apply to motorcycle occupants. If this attribute is used, an explanation in the narrative is recommended.
99 Unknown If this attribute is used, an explanation in the narrative is recommended.


If no safety system was used, please record code 0 (None Used).

In situations where a vehicle is parked and the driver is not present or a hit/run, the driver last name may be entered as UNKNOWN or PARKED, and then this field is exempt and may be left empty.


Does this field still apply to a walking pedestrian?

Yes. Fields 0, 8, 9, or 10 may apply.

Accuracy Checks

  • If the Vehicle Configuration Code indicates ‘motorcycle’ or ‘moped’, then the only applicable Safety System Used would be ‘helmet’ or ‘unknown’.
  • Safety System Used codes of ‘helmet’, ‘protective pads’, ‘reflective clothing’, ‘lighting’, and ‘other’ are only to be used on non-motorist person records.

Data Quality Audit Results

Report Type Complete Incomplete
Local Police (electronic) 574 96.5% 21 3.5%
Local Police (paper) 551 90.0% 61 10.0%
State Police (electronic) 514 82.6% 108 17.4%
Total 1639 89.6% 190 10.4%
Report Type Complete Incomplete
Local Police (electronic) 119 95.2% 6 4.8%
Local Police (paper) 139 93.3% 10 6.7%
State Police (electronic) 55 61.8% 34 38.2%
Total 313 86.2% 50 13.8%
Report Type Complete Incomplete
Local Police (electronic) 4 21.1% 15 78.9%
Local Police (paper) 5 35.7% 9 64.3%
State Police (electronic) 1 33.3% 2 66.7%
Total 10 27.8% 26 72.2%

Driver Safety System Used was found to be complete in 90 percent of the reports reviewed, which is a decrease from the 2005 audit findings (from 95 percent). Although both submittal types for local police had a percent completed rate in the 90s, reports submitted by the State Police had a slightly lower rate, at just over 82 percent. In instances where this field is completed, auditors commented that it is often unverified. Furthermore, there were a number of instances where the collision involved a parked vehicle or a hit and run crash and would not be applicable. Passenger Safety System Used is a field that was completed for 86 percent of the reports reviewed. Similar to other fields in this section, State Police had the highest percentage of reports deemed incomplete, with about 38 percent. This was true for most passenger fields in this section of the crash report. Some auditors indicated if there were no passenger injuries, this section was often left incomplete. The Non-Motorist Safety System Used field was only found to be complete in 28 percent of the reports reviewed (10 of 36). Local police electronic submissions were incomplete most often (15 of 19) with local police paper submissions incomplete 63 percent of the time (9 of 14), and State Police electronic submissions incomplete 67 percent (2 of 3) of the time.