This week drivers and passengers alike are being reminded of the importance of wearing a seatbelt as part of a week-long campaign into the subject. Somerset Road Safety and Avon and Somerset Police have conducted research into road safety, and have found that one in four drivers don’t belt up before they start their journey.
Over the past month 90 drivers and passengers in the county alone have been caught without a seatbelt; 15 of which were given fixed penalty tickets and 75 given orders to attend a road safety workshop. Not wearing a seat belt is one of the four top fatal driving offences, including using a mobile phone whilst driving, driving under the influence and speeding, and can result in serious injuries like whiplash.
Of all the people involved in car accidents across the UK is it thought up to 20% suffer whiplash as a result. It is a painful injury that is caused by vigorous movement of the head and neck, causing damage to the tendons and muscles.
During an accident the seat belt is the force which attempts to restrict the forward inertia after the collision and, although being said to worsen the injury, has actually saved the lives of many people in major crashes.
The safety features of the car in which you’re travelling, such as whiplash-reducing head rests, and the style and speed of driving at the point of collision all combine with the use of the seatbelt to determine the severity of whiplash injuries. More severe injuries may mean time off work and being unable to attend social events, and could lead you to pursue a compensation claim.
If you feel that making a claim is necessary, there are several things you can do to make the process easier. After the crash, and if possible, take the name and contact information of any eyewitnesses and report the accident to the relevant authorities.
Ensure that you receive a medical examination as soon as possible and file your claim with a company like Express Solicitors in a timely manner. Some crashes can be fatal without the use of a seat belt, and it is essential that drivers and their passenger all endeavour to use the safety features available to them.