Seat belts save lives
Road safety

Bear character securing schoolgirl with seat belt

Most people have a restraint (ie, a seat belt or child restraint) available to them to use when they travel in a car or a van. Not using a restraint greatly increases the likelihood of being severely injured or killed if you are involved in a crash. It has been proven beyond doubt that seat belts and child restraints save lives.

Seat belts and child restraints prevent injuries by:

  • Increasing the amount of time it takes to stop in a crash. Without a seat belt, driver and passengers stop very quickly in a crash when they collide with the hard interior of the car (for example the windscreen) or something outside the vehicle such as the road.  A seat belt stops the impact being so severe because it stretches during the process of stopping.
  • Spreading the forces of the impact across a larger proportion of the body.  That is, in a crash a seat belt spreads the forces over the strong bones of the hips and chest. Without a seat belt, the forces are concentrated on the part of the body that hits first, often the head.
  • Minimising the contact with the car's interior.
  • Protecting the occupants from being thrown out.
  • Children in correctly installed restraints have survived crashes where adults have been killed.

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