Among the most important pieces of safety equipment in your car is also the most straightforward. Most of us plug our seatbelts in instinctively, and
Among the most important pieces of safety equipment in your car is also the most straightforward. Most of us plug our seatbelts in instinctively, and feel strangely vulnerable if we don’t. But a minority still don’t bother, despite the legal and safety repercussions.
What does a seatbelt do?
The seatbelt exists to restrict your movements in the event of a collision. It will prevent you from being propelled into the windscreen or dashboard in the event of a crash. According to government statistics, you’re around twice as likely to die in a crash if you aren’t wearing a seat belt. According to statistics from We Buy Any Car, just over a third of those killed in crashes are not wearing a seat belt.
According to the firm, takeup increases on higher-speed roads, meaning that the risk is being taken on shorter, more familiar trips. You might feel an unwarranted sense of confidence, which leads you to believe that you’re not at risk.
What happens if you don’t wear a seatbelt
In the UK, it’s been a legal requirement for all passengers and drivers in road vehicles to buckle up since the 1990s. If you fail to wear one, then you could be subjected to a £500 fine. If you’re involved in a collision while failing to wear one, then you could be judged as negligent and this may lead to you being targeted by a personal injury claim solicitor.
It’s impossible to say with certainty how effective this law has been. But we might guess from the fall in fatality rates that the law has saved around fifty million lives.
Why it’s important to wear a seatbelt
It’s worth running through some of the knock-on benefits of wearing a seatbelt.
To begin with, you’ll suffer a reduced risk of injury and death. In many cases, the statistics can’t fully capture the effect of a seatbelt, since those minor injuries often go unrecorded.
The legal consequences are also worth mentioning. On top of the fines, we have the prospect of a negligence claim to contend with. This applies not only to other road users, but to the passengers in your car, too. If you drive when you know that your passengers aren’t wearing a seatbelt, then you might be held responsible – especially if the passengers in question are children.
If you’re a parent and you want to set a good example, then you’ll insist on seatbelt-wearing. Seatbelt wearing also has a social benefit. If you fail to wear one, then other people might think of you as reckless and uncaring. Given the statistics we’ve just run through, they might have good reason to think this way!