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Seatbelts

Jersey law means everyone has to now wear a seatbelt in the front and back of a car.

So, everybody needs to wear a seatbelt every time they get into a car.

If one person decides not to and there is an accident their body can hurt themselves and every other person in the car.

Remember seatbelts are the best life saving design in the car

Why wear a seatbelt?  Well, here's the maths!  Ready for this?

If a car is driving at 30 miles per hour and stops suddenly, everything inside the car is still moving at the same speed until it hits something or finally runs out of speed. If you are sitting un-belted in the back of a car you are most likely to hit the seat in front of you first.

Because you are travelling so fast it makes you heavier - an average sized person, in a 30 mph crash, increases to about 3.5 tonnes - that's the size of a baby elephant!

So your weight makes contact with the seat in front of you and pushes that seat forward. This can seriously hurt the front seat passenger by crushing them in between their seat and their seatbelt.

Remember seatbelts are the best life saving design in the car:

  • They keep you tight in one place.
  • If you do not wear a seatbelt in the back of a car you are more likely to be thrown out through a window or door.
  • If you are thrown out of a car there is a strong chance you will be seriously injured or die.
Seatbelts are designed to keep you securely in your seat in the case of a car accident. With this in mind car manufacturers design cars to crumple around you and reduce the forces involved in a crash - that lessens your risk of an injury.

Adult seat belts are designed for people who are more than 1.5m in height.

The below information has been taken from www.crash.je

Anyone less than this height tends to find the seat belt rubbing against the side of their neck and the lap part of the belt tends to lie across the stomach instead of the hips and pelvic area. The ‘Think campaign’ and RoSPA both now advise parents to ensure their children use a booster cushion for older children up to the age of 10 or 11 depending on their height. (This is now Law in the United Kingdom and the EU).

Because of the belt rubbing against the neck, children tend to place the diagonal part of the seat belt either behind their back or under the arm that would normally be under the belt, this has the effect on the diagonal part of the belt now being positioned over the stomach and rib area of the body. Occasionally the diagonal is left rubbing against the neck.

In a collision at 30mph it is estimated that an unrestrained occupant is thrown forward with a force equal to 30 to 60 times its own body weight.

The ‘Think campaign’ estimates the average body weight to be in the region of 3.5 tonnes. (Source Department of Transport dft)

Should a car occupant place the diagonal part of the seat belt around their back to improve comfort, then all the above forces in a crash will be placed around the stomach area, rather than hip and pelvic area (particularly in the case of undersized children) with the possibility of incurring serious internal injuries. If the diagonal part of the belt is placed under the arm then the above forces will be focused against the ribs and stomach, again with the possibility of causing serious injuries. When left rubbing against the neck, throat and neck injuries may than occur.

Remember seatbelts are the best life saving design in the car.

  • They keep you secure in one place.
  • If you do not wear a seatbelt in the back of a car you are 30 times more likely to be thrown out through a window or door.
  • If you are thrown out of a car you have up to a 75% chance of dying.

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