[GUEST POST] Are rear seatbelts really necessary?
- JustHere Qatar
- On December 3, 2013
“You got to be kidding. Wear rear seat belts? That’s so not cool…” Daphne Wentink, wants to set right that misconception.
A lot of people believe that it is not necessary to wear a rear seatbelt. According to a survey conducted by Qatar Shell, although 81% say that would use a seatbelt in the driver and front passenger seats, only 8% said they would use the rear seat belts.
This may stem from a misconception that somehow those in the rear of a car seat will not be affected in case of an incident.
So what happens in a crash?
When a crash occurs, a car occupant without a seatbelt will continue to move at the same speed at which the vehicle was travelling before the collision and will be catapulted forward into the vehicle or they could be ejected from the vehicle completely such as through the windows.
This would drastically increase the probability of sustaining severe injury or being killed. About 75% of people ejected from a vehicle in a crash die as a result.
Use of rear seatbelts also prevents injury to other occupants, for example in frontal crash, unbelted rear-seated passengers will be catapulted forward and hit the occupants in the front seat.
Seatbelts play a major role in reducing the severity of injury to occupants involved in a collision and dramatically increases their chances of survival. A belted occupant will be kept in their seat and thus will reduce speed at the same rate as the car.
A way forward
Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of a fatal injury in an incident by up to 50% for front seat occupants and up to 75% for rear seat occupants, according to the World Health Organisation.
So to answer that question, are rear seatbelts really necessary? The answer is a resounding yes. The use of seatbelts is one of the most important actions each one of us can take to prevent injury.
The author is a Road Safety Projects Adviser at Qatar Shell
Photo courtesy: Shell, Adrian Haddad
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