Accidents and your seat belt
It's estimated that classic 3 point seat belt saves more than two thousand lives every year in accidents on our roads. The seat belt we use today was first invented by Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin and used in mass production cars in 1959.
This relatively simple safety device has saved countless lives worldwide since its adoption by all major manufacturers, and is probably the single most important safety feature of your car.
It's hard to believe but it's estimated that more than 20% of UK drivers still refuse to wear seat belts when they get in their cars. There are numerous ways someone can be injured in a road accident if they do not wear their seat belt, whether they are sitting in the front or rear seats of a vehicle.
The dangers of not wearing seat belts in the front seats
Despite relatively modern innovations such as the air bag, many people fail to realise that air bags themselves actually rely on the driver or front passenger wearing their seat belt in order for them to work efficiently in a car accident. During a high speed impact an unrestrained driver or passenger can be thrown forward with such force that the airbag may simply collapse under the pressure.
Older vehicles without air bags can pose even more dangers. Drivers in particular can suffer serious head or chest injuries in an accident by striking the steering wheel, or being thrown straight through the windscreen of the vehicle. Front passengers will either strike their heads on the dashboard or again be thrown through the cars windscreen. Even at low speeds these injuries can be severe, or even life threatening.
The dangers of not wearing seat belts in the rear passenger seats
Airbags in rear passenger seats are still relatively uncommon in most 'non-prestige' production cars. Even if they are installed they will again provide far less protection to the passengers if they do not wear their seat belts.
Without air bags, an un-restrained rear passenger can effectively turn into a dangerous projectile at the point of impact. As the vehicle comes to a sudden stop, the rear passenger will continue moving at the vehicles original speed, often with the head of the rear passenger striking the back of the head of the person in front. This impact can easily cause a fatal injury to the front seat passenger or driver, due to the massive forces involved.
Why a seat belt protects you
Providing the interior structure of your vehicle stays intact during the accident, a seat belt will not only make other safety features like airbags work effectively, they will simply hold in place inside the vehicle and dramatically reduce your chances of striking any hard objects that can cause injury.
At worst you may suffer from bruising around the belts contact areas or possibly a whiplash injury.
Always wear your seat belt!
If you have been involved in a car accident that was not your fault we can arrange for your car to be repaired at one of our approved repair centres, and provide you with a quality like-for-like replacement hire car.
Please give us a call us on 0845 6768898 or start your free claim enquiry using our online claim form.