Who Should You Interview?

Interview drivers of vehicles with children age 8 & younger

Make an attempt to contact every vehicle that appears to have a child passenger age 8 or younger. Children age 8 or younger or less than 4’9” in height are recommended to use a child safety seat (including infant car seat, forward-facing harness seat, or booster seat) when traveling in a vehicle. Many state laws require this as well.

Look for visual cues that the vehicle might carry children, such as window clings that block sunlight for small children, vinyl stickers of family stick figures, or bumper stickers about school or sports.

Do not include motorcycles or buses in your survey. Do not collect personally identifying information such as names or license plate numbers during the survey. You can expect 85%-95% of drivers to agree to do the survey.


Survey protocol
  1. Approach the vehicle either when it first pulls into the parking lot and before the passengers unbuckle their seat belts, or after the passengers are seated and the vehicle is ready to leave
  2. Greet the driver, introduce yourself, and explain the survey
  3. Ensure confidentiality and request permission to do the survey
  4. Proceed with the interview and observation
  5. When the survey is finished, thank the driver
    • Optional: Give the driver information on child safety seats
    • Optional: Give a token of appreciation from your program, such as stickers, magnets, temporary tattoos
  6. If a driver does not want to do the survey, collect only the items that you can observe
  7. Check the survey form to make sure it is complete and wait for another vehicle


A Tip From the Team

Your demeanor is the key to a successful interview. A casual, approachable, open, and friendly tone will make for a smooth survey. You can ask the questions conversationally. See the video for an example.

Materials Needed
  • Survey forms
  • Pens (water resistant ink is best)
  • Clip boards
  • High visibility clothing
  • Badge or name tag identifying yourself (encouraged)
  • Handout on child safety seat recommendations (optional)
  • Stickers or other incentive items (optional)

The survey is a great opportunity to distribute information on child safety seats with contact information for your local health educator, injury prevention specialist, child safety seat distribution program, child safety seat technician, or any other local resources to help with child safety seat questions or installation.

Car Seat Recommendations for Children – website
Car Seat Recommendations for Children – pdf


For more on training your interviewers, go to the next section.