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.