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RSA launches campaign to drive seat belt wearing compliance

 

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) is calling on everyone travelling in a car, whether driving or as a passenger, to ensure they are wearing a seat belt before they set off. The message comes as the RSA launches its latest advertising campaign aimed at increasing seat belt compliance, particularly among rear seat passengers.

The most recent RSA observational study of seat belt wearing rates indicates that while compliance is 94% for drivers and front seat passengers, only 89% of rear seat passengers were observed wearing a seat belt.

The impact of non-wearing of seat belts was shown in analysis conducted by the RSA of all rear seat passengers involved in fatal collisions that occurred over the period 2008-2012*. Of the rear passengers not wearing a seat belt 45% were killed, and 55% survived, while of the rear passengers who were wearing a seat belt, 22% were killed, and 78% survived.

Moyagh Murdock, RSA CEO said: “Failing to put on your seat belt doesn’t just increase the likelihood that you will be killed in the event of a collision but also may make you into a killer. Not being restrained in the rear seat of a car means that in the event of a collision, you will be thrown around the vehicle at extremely high force, doing serious injury both to yourself and potentially also to others in the car. So not wearing a seat belt isn’t just dangerous but selfish too.’’

Having analysed rear seat fatalities in passenger cars from 2009 to 2017 and where seat belt wearing is known, 42% were not wearing a seat belt. **

That is why the RSA developed a campaign encouraging drivers to ask your passengers, both in the front and rear seats, to put on their seat belt before setting off. As the driver of the car, you have the power and authority to tell anyone travelling with you to belt up.

In developing the campaign, the RSA conducted research into the usage and attitudes towards the wearing of seat belts amongst young adults under the age of 35 years. The research found that forgetting to put on a seat belt is the main reason given for not wearing one. But the simple act of asking will fix this with the majority of under 35s saying they would put on a seat belt if their friend asked them to do so.

The RSA advertising campaign launches this week across TV, cinema and video-on-demand. The full commercial can be viewed here.

*Pre-crash Behaviour Study on Fatal Collisions 2008-2012
** Provisional and subject to change; rear seat belt wearing known in 74 cases.

Editor’s Notes

Seatbelt Wearing Rates
The most recent RSA observational study of seatbelt wearing rates conducted in October  / November 2018 indicates that;

  • 94% of all adults were observed wearing a seatbelt
  • 94% of drivers were observed wearing a seatbelt
  • 95% of front seat passengers were observed wearing a seatbelt

However only 89% of rear seat passengers were observed wearing a seatbelt.

2016 Provisional data on fatalities :

  • Drivers: Of all drivers killed (81), 15 drivers were reported as not wearing a seatbelt (19%);
  • Passengers: Of all passengers killed (38), 11 were reported as not wearing seatbelts (29%)
  • Of all drivers and passengers killed and recorded as not wearing a seatbelt, 46% were aged 16-25 years (12). It is important to note that the age profile of drivers and passengers killed tends to be young i.e. in 2016, 28% of drivers and passengers killed were in the 16-25 age group.

Pre-Crash Behaviour Study on Fatal Collisions 2008-2012
An analysis of 867 fatal investigation files from fatalities that occurred over the period 2008-2012 revealed the following:

Drivers:

  • Of the drivers killed (n = 442), 49% were wearing a seatbelt, 37% were not, and 14% did not have their seatbelt wearing recorded.
  • Of the drivers who survived (n = 616; i.e. serious, minor and no injury), 36% were wearing a seatbelt, 6% were not, and 58% did not have their seatbelt wearing recorded.
  • Of the drivers wearing a seatbelt (n = 440), 49% were killed and 51% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).
  • Of the drivers not wearing a seatbelt (n = 198), 83% were killed and 17% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).

Passengers:

  • Of the front passengers wearing a seatbelt (n = 181), 31% were killed, and 69% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).
  • Of the front passengers not wearing a seatbelt (n = 76), 71% were killed, and 29% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).
  • Of the rear passengers wearing a seatbelt (n = 98), 22% were killed, and 78% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).
  • Of the rear passengers not wearing a seatbelt (n = 95), 45% were killed, and 55% survived (i.e. serious, minor and no injury).

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