Wearing a seatbelt can be a life or death decision – both for you and your passengers.
Seatbelts have been around since the 1970’s so it is incomprehensible that people are still dying in road crashes because they failed to wear one. The Motor Accident Commission’s new strong and simple seatbelt message will soon be appearing across its network of 51 regional billboards. MAC General Manger of Road Safety Michael Cornish says seatbelts are one of the primary safety features included in vehicles and if worn correctly, substantially reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a crash.
"Wearing a seat belt is one of the simplest and most effective ways of protecting yourself as the driver or passenger, yet in 2014 about 25 per cent of all vehicle occupants killed in road crashes were not wearing one," Mr Cornish says. MAC research shows that people don’t wear their seatbelt for a multitude of reasons including complacency, discomfort and a perceived unlikelihood of having a crash.
"Wearing a seatbelt doubles your chances of surviving a serious crash, yet despite the benefits shown by road safety research, time and time again too many people do not take the time to ‘buckle up’."
Regional road users are especially vulnerable when it comes to the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt with serious injury as well as fatality figures a major concern. "For the period 2010 – 2014, 40 per cent of people who died and 8 per cent of people who were seriously injured in rural areas were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash," Michael Cornish says.
This compares with 26 per cent for fatal and 7 per cent of serious injury crashes in metropolitan areas over the same period. Seatbelts protect everyone in the car. In a crash without a seatbelt, the human body is subject to much greater force, resulting in far more serious injuries or death. Anyone unrestrained can become a human missile even at relatively low speeds.
Seatbelts save lives - that is why we all must wear one.