Belt-Up: One Third Of Road Deaths Not Wearing Seat-Belt

Mon 23rd Mar 2020

The number of people killed in car crashes on UK roads due to not wearing a seat-belt is significantly higher than previously reported according to new data.

A Freedom of Information request made by Direct Line to police forces around the UK has found that in 2018 31 per cent of fatal car crash victims were not wearing a seat-belt. This figure is higher than the 26 per cent reported by the government when looking into road fatalities.

The different figures have arisen due to the fact that the government statistics are based on the information of officers at the scene of the accident, whilst more considered forensic reports are made by specialist police forensic collision investigators.

The new data suggests that deaths from not wearing a seat-belt are on the rise, going up from 25 per cent in 2016 to the current figure of 31 per cent.

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said: “Not wearing a seat belt is one of the “fatal four” road safety risks but the one that gets least attention. Using the Freedom of Information Act, we obtained data from highly skilled Police Forensic Collision Investigators and discovered that the percentage of people dying in cars, when not wearing a seat belt, is even higher than reported in official figures last year.

“We also found that vital information about the causes of crashes and injury is not being routinely published. Only some PFCIs are consulted by their police colleagues and the local authorities who submit the casualty records (Stats19) to the Department for Transport for publication. This happens in some areas of the UK. We want it to become standard. This more accurate and detailed information could be used to prevent further deaths and serious injury.”