In a crash, someone not wearing a seatbelt is twice as likely to die as someone who is using one. Research indicates that approximately one third of those killed in collisions weren’t wearing a seatbelt. If you think you don’t need to wear a seatbelt because your car has airbags, think again. The proper term for an airbag is a Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) - supplementary meaning ‘in addition to’. That mean in addition to the seatbelt!

The force of a charging rhino – The Honest Truth about seatbelts
  • One in five young people driven by a young person don’t wear seatbelts.
  • People are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys or at low speeds. This puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash.
  • You are twice as likely to die in a crash if you don’t wear a seatbelt.
  • Seatbelts reduce the risk of being thrown from a vehicle.
What can you do to be a good driver?
  • Always wear your seatbelt. To find out about the rare times when you don’t need to wear one visit
  • Check if you have little passengers. Depending on their height children may need a car seat.
  • Tell your friends that if someone isn’t wearing a seatbelt and they’re in a crash at 30 mph, that person’s body will hit whatever’s in front of it at a force that’s 30 – 60 times their own body weight (which is the same force as a charging rhino).
  • You’re the boss in your car. Tell your passengers up front that they either buckle up or get out. As a driver your passengers become your responsibility. If they disrespect your safety, your driving licence, their own safety and your rules, they can find another ride. 

Belt up in the back - don't be a deadweight.

What’s the law?
It’s the law to wear a seat belt if one is fitted in the seat you’re using (there are a few rare exceptions). You’re also only allowed 1 person in each seat fitted with a seat belt.

You must also make sure that any children in the vehicle you’re driving are:
  • In the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135 centimetres tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first.
  • Wearing a seat belt if they’re 12 or 13 years old, or younger and over 135cm tall.
What’s the punishment?
  • You can be fined up to £500 if you don’t wear a seat belt when you’re supposed to.
  • You can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt while you’re driving.


James’ Story

James was driving along a dual carriageway on his way to visit his mother, the weather was poor and the traffic was heavy for the time of day. As he came over the brow of a hill the traffic in front of him had begun to slow down and James didn’t react in time, losing control of his vehicle. James’ car collided with a 4×4 in the outside lane causing the 4×4 to be flipped over several times. The speed of the impact and the fact that James’ wasn’t wearing his seatbelt meant he received injuries that probably killed him instantly. During the course of the investigation it was established that James’ vehicle was travelling at nearly 90 mph when the crash happened. James was 23 years old and had a bright future ahead of him. He’ll never complete that trip to visit his mother…

Police Officer