Interactive Socio-Technical Practicum

Increasing Seat-belt Awareness Among Himachali Drivers

Students: Neha Muthiyan, IIT; Siddhant Kumar, IIT; Rahul Singh, IIT; Aryan Kumar, IIT.
Advisors: Dr. Varun Dutt, IIT; Dr. Rajeev Kumar , IIT; Professor Fabio Carrera, WPI; Professor Svetlana Nikitina, WPI.

The total number of accidents in Germany in the year 2015 were 3459 and in Himachal Pradesh the number was 3010. The numbers show clear sign of lack of road safety awareness among people of India. Seat belts are one of the most important lifesaving safety measures in traffic accidents. Our project aimed at studying the attitudes of people in Mandi towards seat belt use and coming up with measures to increase awareness about seat belt use. We collected seat belt usage data in Mandi to get a rough idea of seat belt usage pattern. Through interactions with people, we determined key gaps in knowledge regarding seatbelt use among the people in Mandi. Further, we developed a real time monitoring system to check whether the passengers are wearing seat belts and to report it to the police department. Finally we devised a road safety module specifically focussed on seat belt usage to increase awareness among local Himachali drivers.

Project Outcomes

The root causes of low seat belt use in Himachal Pradesh were analysed. Several misconceptions and knowledge gaps were observed through our study. Currently there is availability of seat belt alarm systems in new cars but people often tamper them. We developed a nontamperable real time monitoring system which sends the seat belt usage data to the cloud. This data can be accessed through a website built by our team and can be analysed by experts (link to the website http://seatbelt.esy.es/) (Figure 15). Such analysis of data can help policy -makers devise appropriate policies. As shown in figure 16, seat belt usage data is visible on the website. The ‘Timestamp’ field implies time at which the data was recorded, ‘Vehicle Id’ denotes a particular vehicle and ‘Wearing belt’ is a boolean value where ‘1’ denotes usage of seat belt and ‘0’ denotes otherwise.

We have also devised a road safety module specifically focussed on seat belt usage. This module basically consists of a video which is to be distributed among driving schools and traffic police officers to increase awareness and importance of seat belt usage among the people.

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