The fatal seatbelt mistake
The shocking statistics about seatbelts and the road toll.
As the first place in the world to make seatbelt use compulsory, it might come as a surprise to learn that Victorians are still dying on our roads without belting up.
In five of the past 10 years, more than 20 per cent of the drivers and passengers killed on Victorian roads were not wearing seatbelts.
Last year the figure was 14 per cent, accounting for 18 of the state’s 131 motor vehicle occupant fatalities. All were male, two-thirds were killed in single-vehicle crashes, and 83 per cent of them were killed on rural roads.
It’s a familiar pattern in New Zealand, where about 90 people die every year because they’re not wearing a seatbelt, most of them young males.
The NZ Transport Agency is targeting this cohort through a hard-hitting road trauma campaign that recreates the injuries sustained by crash survivors using special effects make-up.
The Belted Survivors campaign features portraits of the young men showing wounds based on their post-crash photos, including deep cuts, black eyes and broken limbs. They have one mark in common – diagonal welts from the seatbelts that saved their lives.
Large-scale posters are placed in their home towns and at outdoor events, and the campaign was launched by the survivors themselves through their own social channels.
“We’re selling an undesirable product to these guys,” says NZ Transport Agency’s Rachel Prince. “Research told us they think seatbelt messages are for kids, for the elderly, for everyone else.”
RACV’s safety and education manager Elvira Lazar says it is shocking that so many people are still losing their lives because they didn’t wear a seatbelt.
“There is no excuse for not wearing a seatbelt. In a crash, it will absolutely make the difference between life and death.”