Seatbelt not worn in 5% of Drivers


One of the biggest ever street surveys into driver behaviour was carried out within the UK and some of the findings from this were astounding! 40000 vehicles were logged by AA Streetwatchers, the volunteers found 4.92% of drivers didn’t even bother to wear their seatbelt and one in twenty drivers at junctions would have been thrown through the windscreen if they had to make an emergency stop.

A common accident to occur, smashing into the back of a car which is in front usually the blame is passed onto those who go into the back but it was found that it may have not been their fault as nearly one in 25 cars actually had broken brake lights!

On approach to junctions 9.57% were considered to be going too fast whilst negotiating junctions and should a collision have occurred they would have made it even worse. With the increase in sales of mobile phones you would have expected that using these whilst driving would see an increase, 83% expected to see around 5% using them. In reality the AA Streetwatchers saw just 0.23% of motorists to use one at the junctions.

The seatbelt issue however is one which is not to be taken lightly. 34% of the members of the AA who took the poll expected this problem to worsen. The reality is though that 30% of road deaths are caused by the person not wearing a seatbelt.

“Clunk click every trip” a message which was sent out just simply has not got through to people. Taxi and van drivers who potentially were at high risk because of their high mileage were amongst the highest offenders who didn’t wear a seatbelt.

300 lives could have been saved if the occupants of the car had been wearing seatbelts, 17-34 year olds have the lowest seatbelt wearing rates combines with the highest accident rate. Unfortunately in 2009, 21% of the 1059 car occupants killed didn’t have their seatbelt on despite the law stating that they do so. Drivers caught not wearing their seatbelt face on the spot fines of £60 and if prosecuted this could reach £500.

There are rare occasions when you do not have to wear a seatbelt,

  • a driver who is reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
  • in a vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue services
  • a passenger in a trade vehicle and you're investigating a fault
  • driving a goods vehicle on deliveries that is travelling no more than 50 metres between stops
  • a licensed taxi driver who is 'plying for hire' or carrying passengers
  • A doctor has decided that you are exempted from wearing a seat belt on medical grounds in which case you will have been provided with a “Certificate of Exemption from Compulsory Seat Belt Wearing”. This must be kept in your vehicle so you have it to hand if stopped by the police and you must notify your car insurer.

It really is not worth the risk, Clunk Click every trip! It may just save your live!

26th July 2011, 9:00