The simplest way to
enhance your safety in any vehicle is to wear a seatbelt, whether
you are a driver or passenger. Choosing if you do or do not wear a
seat belt can be literally a life and death decision. At the start
of each journey, plug in your seatbelt, and you can forget about it
until the journey is over.
The responsibility for wearing seatbelts is down to the
individual if they are aged 14 or over. Otherwise, it’s the driver
who must ensure all passengers are correctly and appropriately
belted, including child seats. In law, failing to wear a seatbelt
carries a £60 fixed penalty. In safety, the cost could be much
Seatbelts are designed to retain the occupant in their seat, as
opposed to them flying forward and either smashing into something
in front (like the steering wheel, dashboard or front seat
passenger) or smashing through the windscreen and into something
outside like a vehicle, a tree or the road.
What happens if you crash?
In a crash at 30mph, your body weight will be multiplied by
around 25 times. If you weigh 10 stone, your body will be 25 times
heavier, which is 250 stone.
If you were quick enough to try bracing yourself with your arms
against the steering wheel or dashboard, your arms could not hold
back that kind of weight and would snap. But the impact happens too
quickly for you to do this.
Once you start to leave your seat, you will hit whatever is in
front of you. If it’s another person, then their chance of serious
injury is enormous - having 250 stone go into the back of
their head will do very serious damage.
If you are the driver, you are likely to go into the steering
wheel, and possibly meet the airbag as it explodes. An airbag is
designed to work with a seatbelt and slow the impact down. It is
not an alternative to a seatbelt. If you are very close when it
goes off, the explosion would be similar to a bomb going off,
transmitting huge forces and energy through your chest and vital
You will receive head injuries as the top of your head grazes
under the rear view mirror and then the windscreen. If you’ve ever
tried to break a windscreen with a hammer, you will know if takes a
lot of force and a very big hammer. They don’t break easily – but
250 stone will break it.
Now you’re coming out of the vehicle and will hit anything else
in your way, a tree, the road or twisted metal, but by then most of
the serious damage to you will have already happened.
That’s at just 30mph – anything faster and the effects are much
Visit the Think!
Road safety website to watch their TV advert called Three
Remember to wear your seatbelt
Please wear your seatbelt. Make sure it’s fitted correctly, with
the diagonal part coming across your collar bone, not your neck.
The lap part should sit across the top of your thighs and not
across your soft and vulnerable stomach.
There are legal exemptions for seatbelt wearing, meaning in rare
situations you don’t have to wear one - but legal doesn’t mean
safe. The general rule is if a seatbelt is fitted, it should be
Teddy Takes a Tumble
We aim to get into as many primary schools as possible to
deliver our Teddy Takes a Tumble presentation to reception and year
This deals mainly with the importance of always wearing a
seatbelt, and keeping it done up all the time the car is moving,
together with some general road safety advice.
At the end of the session, we leave a resource to reinforce our