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Cop Corner: Seatbelts save Lives. Bottom line.

Wearing one’s seatbelt is required by law, but what’s more important is it could save your life.

It’s one of the most common sense things any vehicle occupant can do. It’s the simplest and most effective way to protect you and your passengers from injury and or death in the event of a collision.

You could be the best driver in the world but you cannot control anyone else’s driving behaviour out there on the road, so it’s important to take that step in protecting yourself by putting on your seatbelt.

In 2017, in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction one in four collisions (25.9%) involved a person not wearing a seatbelt and 29.8% of fatal collisions included at least one person not using safety equipment (seatbelt/helmet).

A seatbelt also has to be worn properly to have full effectiveness. It should be across the hip bones and the shoulder and should not be uncomfortable. Never put the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back.

The shoulder belt should sit across the centre of the chest and the lap belt should be worn low on the hips. This placement distributes the crash forces across the strongest parts of the body.

  • Some other items of interest regarding occupant restraints are:
  • Airbags can only function properly if the occupant is restrained in the proper position, they are a supplemental device that deploy at an explosive speed and can cause injury if the occupant is not properly positioned.
  • A driver can’t transport more people in a car than there are seatbelts.
  • Drivers are responsible for ensuring that all passengers in the vehicle under 16 years of age are properly secured. Drivers may otherwise be fined for each unrestrained passenger under the age of 16.
  • Sharing seatbelts is dangerous as occupants will hit each other during a collision, increasing the likelihood of injury.

Buckle up, every single time, whether you’re driving to work, to the grocery store, several hundred kilometers or just around the block.

It could save your life.