While most people know that seat belts are important, understanding of their purpose is less widespread.
The purpose of a seat belt is to keep a person in their seat and to prevent or minimise the extent of injuries sustained in a collision. A seat belt reduces the contact involved between the interior of a vehicle and an occupant, and minimises the risk of an occupant being thrown from a vehicle.
Whenever travelling in the rear or front of a vehicle that has been fitted with seat belts, they should always be worn. In fact, failure to wear a seat belt can often negate car insurance cover.
Children must always travel in a certified child restraint or, if they are too large for a child restraint, a child should always wear a seat belt.
It is estimated that since the introduction of laws around the wearing of seat belts in the front of cars, 50,000 lives in Great Britain have been saved.
Any damage to seat belts reduces their effectiveness, and for this reason it is important that they are regularly checked. Examples of damage include: fraying or fluffing around the edges, cuts which cause the splitting of fabric, holes and any damage to the buckle.
Did you know; by law, pregnant women still need to wear a seat belt when travelling in cars. It is most safe for the diagonal strap of the seat belt to be placed between the breasts, the strap resting over the shoulder, the lap belt on the thighs and the seat belt worn as tightly as possible.