2016 marks 50 years of seatbelt safety law in the UK

Thousands of lives have been saved since the first seatbelt law was passed 50 years ago.

The 1966 legislation made it compulsory for all new cars to have seatbelt fittings. This simple change has revolutionised the way that drivers and passengers look after their own safety when driving.

In a crash you are twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt and the government’s THINK! Campaign has played a crucial role in reminding people of the importance of this safety measure. For the past 10 years the number of people wearing seatbelts has consistently been above 90%, with a high of 98% of car drivers recorded wearing a seatbelt in 2014.

The Purpose of Seat Belts

Seat belts are designed to retain people in their seats, and so prevent or reduce injuries suffered in a crash. They ensure that as little contact is made between the occupant and vehicle interior as possible and significantly reduce the risk of being thrown from a vehicle.

On modern vehicles, seat belts are now also designed to work as the key part of wider injury prevention measures and safety systems, such as airbags and head restraints, which will not be as effective in reducing the risk of injury if an occupant is not wearing a seat belt. Always make sure that children travel in an appropriate child restraint or in a seatbelt if they are too big for a child restraint.

When you consider that 98% of drivers and 95% of front seat passengers wear seatbelts, it seems like the vast amount of car users and passengers are taking seatbelt safety seriously however the 5% of car passengers who don’t wear a seatbelt totals to an estimate of 3.3 million people in the UK.

For more information regarding wearing seatbelts click here – https://saferessexroads.org/road-users/advice/seatbelts/ and why not sign your own Essex Road Safety Pledge? – https://saferessexroads.org/serp-pledge/

The safer Essex roads partnership has a vision to reduce deaths and serious injury on Essex roads to zero. However, the partnership cannot to this alone and every road user needs to be responsible for their safety and the safety of others using the roads. Please, Belt Up.

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