Safety is always key when travelling in your car. One of the main safety devices in your car is your seat belt. If you were to get into an accident, it can literally save your life. Apart from that, it is required by South African law to buckle up.
It is very important to recognise the significance of wearing your seat belt and how to use a seat belt correctly.
What is South African law on wearing a seat belt?
In South Africa it is against the law not to wear your seat belt when you occupy a car, either as a driver or a passenger. If a person decides to not wear their seat belt and is caught by a traffic officer, it will result in a fine.
It only takes a second to buckle up and by doing so, you abide by South African law and it could also save your life.
What will happen if you don’t wear a seat belt?
- When you don’t wear a seat belt, as a driver or passenger, you can be completely ejected from the car if you are involved in an accident. This can result in either serious injuries or even death.
- When you don’t wear a seat belt, your body will move at the same speed as the car was before it collided with another car or structure. You will most likely be ejected from the vehicle through the windscreen or other windows in the car or, if you are the driver, you will hit the dashboard or steering wheel.
- Passengers that are not buckled up can most likely kill other passengers on impact.
- Passengers who sit in the back of the vehicle without seat belts are three times more likely to get seriously injured or die, as compared to passengers who buckled up.
What you should do before you drive.
- Always buckle up. Even if you are quickly popping off to the shops for bread and milk.
- Make sure your passengers are always buckled up. Attend to children first if they are not able to fasten their seat belts.
- Make sure you fasten the lap and shoulder belt across your hips. Do not tuck the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm. Make sure the shoulder belt doesn’t go across the face or neck.
- Always check that your seat belts are working properly in your car.
How many South Africans actually wear seat belts?
Only 40% of South Africans wear their seat belts. That is only 4 people out of every 10 people. The burning question is, why do so many South Africans refuse to wear seat belts when it’s such a safety risk.
The reasons could be that they would rather choose comfort over safety and or maybe they are not aware of the risks attached to not wearing seat belts. Or maybe we have adopted the mentality that “It will never happen to me”.
Seat belt statistics in South Africa
- Only 40% of South Africans wear seat belts. That’s 4 people out of every 10 people.
- If everyone wore a seat belt it would reduce the risk of road accident deaths on our roads by 72%.
- Light vehicles: 71% of drivers wear seat belts and only 25% to 51% of passengers wear seat belts.
- Trucks: 20% of truck drivers wear seat belts and only 11% of passengers wear seat belts.
- Minibus Taxis: 11% of drivers wear seat belts and only 2% of passengers wear seat belts.
This is a very shocking revelation, that so many people driving in vehicles actually don’t wear seat belts. So many lives could be spared if we just take a second to buckle up.
The next time you enter a vehicle, either as a driver or passenger, remember to put on your seat belt and encourage the others around you to do the same. This is literally a life or death situation.
It’s important to wear your seatbelt and it is important to consider getting affordable car insurance too.
This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views and opinions of Prime Meridian Direct (Pty) Ltd, FSP41040. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.
Remember that an Airbag is only a secondary restraint – Have the driver and all passsengers safely secured with seatbelts, car seats or booster seats! https://t.co/teHouUGyXM #ArriveAlive #BuckleUp pic.twitter.com/Fmuv4mzF0p
— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) June 18, 2019