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Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transports

It is a proven fact that seatbelts save lives, and considerably reduce the injuries suffered by a casualty in a collision, if they are wearing a seatbelt.

While we all know that we should and must wear a seatbelt when we get into a car, its frightening to think that a lot of people still believe that, not only is it ok not to wear a seatbelt in the back seats, but that passengers in the back feel they are much safer than those in the front. This is certainly not true. In fact, passengers in the back are probably more at risk than those in the front.

In a crash at 50km/h, if you are unstrained, you will be thrown forward and hit the front seat, and anyone in it with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own body weight. An impact such as this could prove serious or worst still fatal, for both you and the person you hit.

Without a seat belt three out of four people will be killed or seriously injured in a 50km/h head on crash. Seat belts are proven life savers and must be used on every single car journey, on short and long trips

Legal Obligations
Unless exempted, every person in a car is legally obliged to wear a seat belt where one is fitted. That includes drivers and front and rear passengers. The driver is responsible for ensuring that passengers under 17 years of age comply with the law.

It is not safe to allow a child to travel unrestrained, even in the back of the car. In an accident or in a situation the child could be hurled forward into or between the seats or be thrown through the windscreen or against the dashboard. The safest way for children to travel in a car is in an appropriate child restraint.

Rear Seat Passengers
In Ireland only 40% of rear seat passengers use their seat belts. An unbelted back seat passenger travelling in a car doing 50km/h when it crashes will continue travelling into the seat in front at almost 50km/h.