One In Four Road Traffic Deaths Not Wearing Seatbelts

Wed 3rd Aug 2022

The legislation which requires all drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts was introduced many decades ago, however worrying figures published by the Department for Transport (DfT) this week show a worrying trend.

The analysis of car occupant fatalities in Britain between 2016 and 2020 showed that 24 per cent were not belted up. And the problem seems to be a generational issue, as younger drivers, those against 17 to 29, are the demographic of drivers or passengers least likely to be wearing a seatbelt (32%). There’s also a higher correlation of drivers killed without a seatbelt when driving at night, with 39 per cent compared to 17 per cent at other times. 

The Government spent millions on advertising campaigns in the 1980s to try and encourage drivers to wear a seatbelt, and spent similar sums when seatbelts for passengers because law. According to the data, there is a slight problem with back seat passengers, a survey last year suggested 95% of drivers and front seat passengers wore a seatbelt, but just 92% of rear seat passengers.

“Astonishingly, almost a quarter of all road traffic fatalities involved occupants not wearing seatbelts,” said RAC spokesman, Simon Williams.

“This stark statistic singularly underlines just why seatbelts are a legal requirement, so it’s a real worry that many people still choose not to belt up.

“The fact compliance is much lower for those in the backs of cars, who are less likely to be protected by airbags, and for those who ride in taxis is equally shocking.

“As seatbelts are probably the single biggest life-saving device ever introduced into vehicles, it’s vital the Government, local authorities and the police to continue to reinforce this message.

“Today’s new figures beg the question as to whether a nationwide communications campaign to promote seatbelt use should be rolled out and whether existing laws are a sufficient enough deterrent.”