Who Should Conduct the Interviews?

If possible, hire interviewers or find volunteers to help you collect data.

The time needed to complete data collection depends on the number of people collecting data, as well as the density of traffic at the sites. In our experience, 200 surveys can be completed in as few as two days or as many as 20. Depending on your resources and available staff, you may want to recruit local community members to assist in data collection. This would allow you to cover several locations at the same time and complete your survey in fewer days.

Ask influential people in the community such as tribal council members or program or department managers to help with the survey. This affirms that child passenger safety is a priority for your tribe. You may want to provide reference letters or letters of recommendation to your volunteers, since they might be looking for work. If you do have additional staff or volunteers, be sure to train them on the survey protocol and have them do practice interviews before beginning data collection.


On your first scheduled day of observations, spend the first hour of the day training your interviewers.
  1. Bring printed copies of the survey form, and the Car Seat Recommendation infographic found in the previous section (4.3)  with you to the training.
  2. Review child safety seat recommendations and the laws in your tribe and state.
  3. Make sure your interviewers are comfortable identifying a rear-facing infant seat, a forward-facing harness seat, and a booster seat.
  4. Go over the survey protocol and survey form.
  5. Have your interviewers practice filling out the form. Then, have them practice on a set-up vehicle/driver.
  6. Stress to your interviewers that confidentiality is key! This is true any time you collect data, but it is especially important in tribal communities where people know each other. What an interviewer sees during the survey is strictly confidential.

Now, you’re ready to start collecting data! Take your interviewers to your first data collection site – the clinic, gas station, or grocery store, for example. Support your interviewers for the first few surveys to make sure they are confident, and be available to answer their questions. Check their survey forms to make sure they are complete. When your interviewers are comfortable collecting data on their own, you can make a plan for who will be collecting data at what site. Check in with your interviewers regularly and change the data collection plan as needed.

Now that you have collected your survey data, it’s time to analyze!


We want analysis to be easy. This is what you will need:

  • A computer with Microsoft Excel 2007 or later
  • A person to enter the survey forms

That’s it!

Download this Native-CARS-analysis-v1-4 Excel file. You will need to click “Enable Editing” and “Enable Content” when you open the Excel file. Macros need to be enabled for the data entry form to work.

When you click the “Enter new record” box, a screen will pop up that looks like the printed survey forms. If a screen does NOT pop up, you probably don’t have macros enabled. For help enabling macros, click here.

Enter your data just as it looks on the form. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Date is set as mm/dd/yyyy format.
  • Site will read exactly as you type it. If you type “clinic” “tribal clinic” and “the clinic” these will tally up as three different sites.
  • Record age as whole numbers. Enter “0” as the age for babies under 1 year.
  • Click “Save & Next” and Excel will write the contents of your form to the “RawData” sheet and open a new, blank form.
  • Click “Save & Close” and Excel will write the contents of your form to the “RawData” sheet and close the form.
  • To close without saving, click the “x” in the top right corner.

You will notice that the data entry form automatically generates an ID number in the bottom right corner. To be thorough, write this number on the paper copy of the survey. This way, you will know that you entered the form. If you want to come back to that particular form in your database, you can find that form under the assigned ID number in the RawData sheet.

Notes feature

In the paper copy of the survey form, you’ll notice a space for “Notes.” Use this space however you wish. You may want to use it to document unusual situations, like “Baby was on mom’s lap,” or “2 kids were buckled into the same seat,” or, “Child was in the car seat, but seat was not buckled into the car.” Whether you want to collect this information systematically is up to you. Maybe your observers were not sure which “Restraint used” option to choose, so they wrote down specifics for a CPS tech or data entry person to decide. In each of the unusual situations just named, enter the restraint used as “None.” If you enter the notes into the Excel form, you can look at them later in the RawData sheet.


As you enter your forms, the Excel analysis file will automatically populate tables and charts with your data. When you are ready to look at your data, you can click on the worksheets along the bottom to see your tables. You can copy and paste these tables into a report, if you wish. The “Descriptives” sheet will have three tables. One table has Driver/Vehicle characteristics, one has Child Characteristics, and a Pivot Table tallies observation sites. These will give you basic frequencies and percentages of your population. The “Site” table does not automatically populate. To update this with the data you entered, click on the cell that says “Site.” Right click and select “Refresh.” (See the picture below.) This will fill the table with a list of your observation sites and a count of how many children were observed at each site. If you enter more survey forms after you do this, be sure to refresh this table again to add your new data.

The next worksheet has a detailed table on the “Unrestrained” children in your survey. Column “D” has language to help interpret the results. If you copy the table into a report, copy just the table, without the language.

The next worksheet is detailed information on the children in your survey who met the child safety seat recommendations. The “Meeting recommendations” definition is at the bottom of the page, along with citations.

The next worksheet is information on children who were restrained, but not using a restraint recommended for their age and size. We call this “Inadequately Restrained.” These are kids who were moved to the next seat too early, or were wearing a lap/shoulder belt when they still needed a child safety seat. This table will show you characteristics of these children.


The next worksheet is “Charts.” You can also get to the “Charts” worksheet from the Home worksheet by clicking the “Go to charts” button. In the “Charts” sheet, there is a “Home” button that will jump you back to the Home screen. On this sheet, you can see a chart of child restraint status at your tribe. You can also look at potential risk factors for riding unrestrained or not meeting recommendations.

Interpreting Results

A quick way to determine risk factors at your tribe is to look at the “Charts” worksheet. If the percentages of “Meets recommendations” or “Unrestrained” look different (the bars will be different heights) for the different ages, or driver seat belt use, distance from home, or driver relationship to the child, then these factors are likely to be risk factors in your community.

For a more formal statistical evaluation of risk factors, enter the counts from one of the tables into an online Chi Square calculator, such as this one.

A tip from the team:

An “observation only” modification

One tribe that implemented this survey decided to do 200 observations. They completed half of them exactly as the survey form is written. The other half, they decided to do observation only. The two pieces of data they did not have for this “observation only” survey were “Distance from home in minutes” and “Parent or Other.” They used the same survey forms but left those fields blank. They chose observers who were experienced at estimating children’s ages and sizes. They downloaded two separate copies of the Excel database. In one, they entered the forms done as interviews. In the other, they entered the forms done as observations. This way, they could compare the two methods.

Tracking over time

Another reason to keep two versions of the database is if you’re looking to track progress over time. Download one copy of the Excel file and put the month and year in the file name. Enter your first set of survey data into this database. Then, download a second copy for your second set of observational interviews and enter month and year in the file name. This will allow you to compare child safety seat use before and after your intervention activities. You might want to do this to evaluate the impact of a new tribal law, for example. Or estimate the effect of a media campaign.

 Thank you for completing Module 4: Collect Your Own Data.  To learn more about collecting information about beliefs, culture, and customs that can affect child safety seat use in your tribe, go to the next module.