Official figures from 2017 show that 27% of those killed on the roads were not wearing a seatbelt
Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) have revealed the horrifying impact of not wearing a seatbelt, as deaths related to not buckling-up climb to record levels.
According to the DfT, more than a quarter of people who died in a road accident in 2017 had not been wearing a seatbelt.
Official figures found that 1,793 people died last year on UK roads, the same number that was killed the previous year. However, 27% of these were not wearing a seatbelt – an increase of 20% compared to figures from 2016.
Anyone caught by the police for not wearing a seatbelt can be issued with a £100 fine but if the case ends up in court this could rise to £500.
Breaking Rule 99 of the Highway Code for not wearing a seatbelt results in a fine but no penalty points are handed out.
A DfT spokesman said the number of people not wearing a seatbelt is “shocking”, adding: “Up to one in four deaths in a car could have been prevented by simply plugging in before moving.”
However, their spokesman also added that in the UK we have “some of the safest roads in the world and we are always looking at ways of making them safer.”
Drivers who choose to jump in a vehicle and fail to ensure that they and their passengers are belted up before setting off have been critised by motoring organisations.
President of the AA, Edmund King, said it was “astonishing” that one in four of those killed on UK roads were not wearing a seatbelt, stating that seatbelt’s were “a fundamental piece of safety equipment and it takes no more than a few seconds to put one on.”
Mr King implied that drivers of SUVs might be guilty of being drawn into a false sense of security because of the size of their vehicle, however in reality someone sat in the back of an SUV compared to someone in the back of a small car such as a MINI have got the same chance of being injured or killed if involved in a crash.
RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said the figures make for “sobering reading”.
“There has been no substantial reduction in fatalities since 2010, with the numbers killed on the roads remaining stubbornly high,” said Mr Williams.
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