A new report from PACTS, ETSC’s UK member, has found that more than a quarter of people who died in cars in 2017, were not wearing a seatbelt.
“Seat Belts: The Forgotten Road Safety Priority” shows that despite wearing rates of 98.6% for British car drivers, 27% of those who died in cars on the roads in 2017 were not wearing a seatbelt. This amounts to more than 200 deaths; an additional 1,000 people were seriously injured.
Seatbelt non-wearing has not received the focus it warrants in recent years, with many in the road safety community having viewed seat belt legislation as a ‘job well done’. The report identifies key characteristics of people who are dying and being seriously injured as well as the situations in which they are crashing. It also reveals the most significant reasons for not wearing and interventions which should be employed to increase seat belt wearing and reduce death and serious injury on UK roads.
Earlier this year, the EU formally agreed updated UNECE regulations on seatbelts that will require seatbelt reminder systems in all front and rear seats on new cars from September 2019. But it will be many years before the majority of cars on the road have the feature.
Update 5/6/19: The headline of this story was changed. The original version said that one third of killed car occupants were not wearing a seatbelt. The actual figure is 27%, just over a quarter.