VEHICLE collisions are a leading cause of death in South Africa and many people killed in car crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash. This means that wearing a seat belt is effective in preventing death and serious injury from a crash.
In 1959 Swedish carmaker Volvo patented the three-point seat belt plan. While lap belts were somewhat common, they were not effective. This led engineer Nils Bohlin to create the easy-to-use lap and shoulder seat belt still used today. Volvo recognised the importance of this invention and made the design available for free to any carmaker who chose to use it.
When you are in a vehicle collision, three impacts take place:
- The first impact is with the object that your car hit.
- The second impact is your body colliding with other people or objects in the car.
- The third impact is your internal organs smashing against other organs in your body.
You are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle in a crash if you are not wearing a seat belt.
Wearing seat belts in the front reduces the risk of a fatal injury by 45%.
The key to safe driving is to never let your guard down.
Whether you need to drive 2km down the road or 200km to your destination, your seat belt is just as important either way.