Almost every country in the World has very strict laws about wearing a seatbelt, but beyond doing what the law requires of you, wearing a seat belt can really help you in a number of ways and unfortunate situations, and it may even save your life.

According to some studies, wearing a seatbelt helps prevent about 50% of fatalities in car crashes.

Some statistics show that in the year 2009, in more than 50% cases where there were severe injuries or deaths, seatbelts were not worn.

The awareness for wearing a seat belt has risen by 87% since the 2010, but the experts in traffic statistics still state that one out of seven people are not wearing seatbelts on a regular basis.

The numbers tell us that people who are not wearing seatbelts are 30 times more likely to be ejected totally out of the car in case of an accident, and more than 75% people ejected die.

The risks of serious injuries are also cut by more than 50% when wearing a seatbelt and being seated in the drivers or the front passenger seat.

The most grievous of statistics state that there is a car crash ever 15 seconds, and someone dies in a car crash once every 13 minutes.

Seat belts can prevent head and neck injury in rollovers.

Even at the speed of 50 km/h, you car is accelerated so that in a straight frontal collision the driver and passengers leave their seats and fly due to the force of inertia and their bodies act like pin balls, bouncing all over the car and hitting the windshield, doors, seats, etc…

The U.K. law

In the U.K. the law states that you must always wear a seat belt, if one is fitted in your seat. There are only a few exceptions to this law.

Also, only one person per one seat fitter with a seat belt is allowed. Children must use the correct car seat for their weight until their height reaches 135 centimeters or they are 12 years old, whichever comes first.

The fine for not wearing a seat belt when you’re supposed to, can go up to £ 500.

The exceptions for when you do not need to wear a seat belt are:

  • If you are rehearsing, or supervising a learner driver who is rehearsing
  • If the vehicle is used by the police, the fire and rescue services
  • If you are transporting goods in your vehicle and you are travelling no more than 50 meters between stops
  • If you’re a taxi driver who is ‘plying for hire’ or carrying passengers
  • If you are a passenger in a trade vehicle and you are investigating a fault

There are also cases when you don’t have to or cannot wear a seat belt for medical reasons. If that is the case, your doctor will give you a ‘Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing’. You must keep this certificate in your vehicle and show it to the police if stopped. You are also obliged to inform your car insurer if this is the case.

Pregnant women and disabled people also must wear seat belts unless stated otherwise by the doctor.

If you car doesn’t have any seatbelts, for instance a classic vehicle (an oldie), you are not allowed to provide transportation to children under 3 years of age, and children above 3 years are allowed only to sit in the back. This rule of course applies only if the car in question was originally made without seatbelts.

Anyone who owns a car and likes to drink has always faced the same dilemma over and over again. Now, you’d be surprised how easy people make decisions they are fit for driving, even though they’ve had one too many to drink. The U.K. has strict laws against drunk driving, and depending on the severity of the state in which you are found driving under the influence of intoxicated, you may pay a fine, lose your license, or even be incarcerated.

In case you are found driving intoxicated, your penalty is actually decided by the magistrates, who will hear your case and review the evidence against you. But the case against you, of course, is based on the offences you make.

The legal amount of alcohol in England and Wales is the same, and it is:

  • 35 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath, or
  • 107 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine, or
  • 80 milligrams in 100 milliliters of blood

In Scotland, since 2014, the limit was reduced to:

  • 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood, or
  • 22 micrograms in 100 milliliters of breath

This was done to bring Scotland’s limits closer to those of other European countries and make Scotland’s roads safer.

Fines

Being in charge or a vehicle while being above the legal limit (or deemed unfit in case of drinking) you may get:

  • Up to a £2,500 fine
  • A possible ban from driving for up to 1 year
  • Up to 3 months of imprisonment

If you are driving (or attempting to drive) while above the legal limit of alcohol, you may get:

  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban from driving for at least a year
  • Up to 6 months of imprisonment

(If you get a driving ban, and it is your second one in the last 10 years, it may go up to 3 years.)

If you cause death while driving carelessly under the influence of alcohol, you may get:

  • An unlimited fine
  • A ban from driving for at least 2 years
  • Up to 14 years of imprisonment

(Before your license is returned, you may need to pass an extended and rigorous driving test)

There are additional circumstances that may be used against you and flag you as a ‘high risk offender’, and they are as follows:

  • Getting convicted twice for drink driving offences within a 10 year period
  • Driving with an alcohol reading of 200 or more milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood (87.5 micrograms per 100 milliliters of breath or 267.5 milligrams per 100 milliliters of urine)
  • If you refuse to give the asked sample to the police (Breath, blood, or urine)
  • If you refuse to allow your blood to be tested for alcohol while it was taken from you in the state of unconsciousness for instance.

You may be able to plea your case and help reduce your fine if you agree to take a –drink-drive rehabilitation scheme course- or the DDRS.
If you are convicted for drink driving that can also mean you may have trouble traveling to other countries, having your car’s insurance costs increased significantly, or your employer may see your conviction on your license if you are driving for work.

Keeping your children safe on the roads is just as important as making yourself road aware. This video is a great training tool made for children and helps them understand that roads can be dangerous.