Belt Up This Christmas
While the vast majority of people habitually ‘belt up’ every time they get into a car, many people – especially those travelling in the back of vehicles – admit that they sometimes don’t for short journeys. According to a Department for Transport study into the use of seat belts, journeys taken late at night, early in the morning or within low speed limit areas are other occasions where low seat belt use is typically found.
It is the law for the driver and all passengers in the vehicle to wear their seatbelt and national research has shown that seatbelts are around 60% effective at preventing fatal injuries and 32% effective at preventing serious injuries. If everyone in the UK wore a seatbelt, it is estimated that over 350 lives and 1000 serious casualties could be saved every year. Many passengers don’t realise that – once they reach the age of 14 – the responsibility for wearing their seat belt is their own and not the driver’s.
Anna Higgins, Communications Manager at the Safer Roads Partnership said “Although many people do wear their seat belt, there are still some who either choose not to or simply forget. Nationally and locally, there are still collisions occurring where people haven’t worn their seatbelt and the injuries sustained could have been avoided if seatbelts were used.”
“With Christmas now upon us, there are a lot of people making trips in the car to do their shopping or visit family and friends. We’re urging everyone to stay safe over the festive period and use their seat belt every time – no matter how short or long the trip is. Seat belts are an effective means of reducing serious injuries and fatalities and anything we can do to increase their use has got to be a positive step.”