What Car? Says Belt Up

One person in five is dicing with death and breaking the law by not wearing a seatbelt, according to a new survey by What Car? Over 1300 vehicles were monitored in four urban areas, with researchers checking on drivers and passengers.

What Car? editor Steve Fowler said: “It’s complete madness. Car makers spend billions of pounds developing state of the art safety systems, yet one person in five is still not using the simplest and most important one of all - their seatbelt.”

It is estimated that seatbelts save seven lives every day in the UK. The total number of deaths in road accidents in 2005 was 3201, with over half of people killed being car users.

This September the law changes again to make cars safer for children. Any child under 135cm tall or under 12 should be sat on a booster seat. Children do not have the same strong bone density as young adults and using a booster seat ensures the seat belt is in the correct position over the body to better protect the child in an impact.

A forensic collision investigator for Nottinghamshire Police, Nigel Hutson, describes a head-on collision between two similar-aged superminis, saying: “The driver who’d been belted got out of the car - the other driver ended up dead.”

27 August 2006 Staff

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