More than one third of car occupants killed in collisions are not wearing seat belts
More than one third of car occupants killed in collisions are not wearing seat belts, according to the AA Seat Belt Report, 'Clunk Click'.
The report shows that seatbelts more than halve the risk of death in a collision.
However, the 7% not wearing seatbelts are overrepresented in fatalities, which suggests that the sort of driver who chooses not to wear a belt is twice as likely to be involved in a crash as someone who does belt up.
Nearly 300 lives per year would be saved if all car occupants belted up.
The AA Seat Belt Report suggests that targeting these non belt wearing "crash magnets" could have beneficial effects beyond the issue of seat belts. The report also points to evidence from Lord Stevens, the ex Metropolitan Police Commissioner, that Princess Diana would have survived the Paris car crash had she been wearing a seat belt.
Seat belt wearing rates are lower amongst:
AA seat belt report (pdf)
These groups are less likely to wear belts late at night or early in the morning.
14% of the population are intermittent or occasional belt users. They tend to give excuses such as:
There was a long battle to get the introduction of laws for compulsory wearing of seat belts:
There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from Princess Diana's tragic death in Paris in terms of driving too fast, drink/drug driving and the added risks of not wearing a seat belt
Edmund King, AA president
Commenting, Edmund King, AA President, said: "It is astonishing that one third of vehicle occupants killed do not wear seat belts. In the current safety debate with concerns over road safety funding there is one thing that could be done overnight to save 300 lives per year at no cost – that is every vehicle occupant to belt up on every journey.
"There are a lot of lessons to be learnt from Princess Diana's tragic death in Paris in terms of driving too fast, drink/drug driving and the added risks of not wearing a seat belt."
AA Seat Belt Report (pdf)
(17 January 2013)
Image by Volvo Cars - Volvo started fitting seatbelt reminders to their passenger cars in 1971