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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Most common seat belt excuses: “The strap is uncomfortable”


    Drivers/passengers often come up with wonderful excuses for not wearing seat belts. Here are some of them:

    • It is uncomfortable.
    • It irritates my skin.
    • It wrinkles my clothes.
    • It does not fit, I am too big.

    A little discomfort or wrinkled clothes are somewhat minor issues in comparison to the potential injuries by road accident when seat belts are not worn. Modern seat belts can be adjusted for optimal comfort, and larger people will find seat belt extenders extremely helpful.

    Seat belts and road traffic accidents

    Other common excuses consist of:

    • It makes me feel restrained.
    • I can not look over my shoulder when buckled up.
    • I fear getting stuck in the car after a traffic accident.

    The purpose of seat belts is to protect drivers and passengers against potentially serious personal injuries by restraining them. Restraining the chest, not the head, they are unlikely to prevent drivers from looking over their shoulders. Being knocked unconscious and subsequently being unable to get out of vehicles after motoring accidents is far more likely than getting trapped by wearing seat belts.

    Seat belts and the law

    Some people claim they forgot to buckle up, while others believe they do not have to. The law clearly states that it is illegal to drive without all car occupants wearing seat belts, so there is no such thing as personal choice in this matter. The alarms in modern cars also make it quite impossible to forget buckling up.

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    The ‘safe driver’ excuse

    Other drivers excuse their failure to wear seat belts by claiming that they:

    • Are careful, safe drivers.
    • Are only taking short trips or going slow.
    • Do not need to buckle up because they have air bags.
    • Can brace themselves.

    These excuses can be answered by the following facts:

    • Poor road and/or weather conditions; mechanical failures and other drivers can cause anyone to have vehicle accidents.
    • 80 per cent of fatal traffic related injuries occur on short trips at speeds below 60 mph.
    • It takes super-human reaction times for drivers and passengers to brace themselves in time. Even then, the forces of impact involved would shatter the body parts used for bracing.

    Car accident claims

    If you suffered car crash injuries in spite of buckling up and through someone else’s fault, you may be eligible for accidental injury compensation. Contact Accident Advice Helpline for more information on how to claim on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.

    Date Published: March 5, 2014

    Author: David Brown

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.