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Seatbelts (safety belts) support you in a crash or when the vehicle stops suddenly. Without a seatbelt, front seat occupants can be thrown through the windscreen and onto the road. Back seat passengers can be thrown onto the front seats or the front seat passengers, or can hit the roof.
Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road crash by about 40%. If everyone wore their seatbelts an estimated 25 lives could be saved from road crashes each year.
In New Zealand, seat-belt wearing rates are high, yet non-seat belt fatalities accounted for 19-30% of overall motor vehicle occupant road deaths between 2006 and 2016.
- All modern cars must be fitted with seatbelts in the front and back seats.
- Seatbelts must be worn in front and back seats if fitted.
- Remember that if you sit in a seat fitted with a seatbelt, you must wear the seatbelt.
Seatbelts save lives. They support you if you're in a crash or when a vehicle stops suddenly. The force on seatbelts can be as much as 20 times your weight – this is how hard you'd hit the inside of your vehicle without restraint. A lap/sash seatbelts gives better protection than a lap belt and should always be used as a preference if available.
- Seat belt Factsheet - Waka Kotahi
- Other safety features to look out for - Rightcar
- Research on Seat Belts - Automobile Association