When it comes to wearing a seatbelt in Nigeria 40% of Nigerian road users don’t find it useful or they underestimate its usefulness while the 50% that wears it don’t wear it religiously or they only wear it to take a selfie. The remaining 10% that uses the seatbelt do so in order not to be fined by the law according to a survey conducted by a team of experts.
According to National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria recorded 11, 363 road accidents in 2016, the report stated that 4,696 of the 5,053 Nigerians that got killed, representing 93 percent of the figure were adults, while the remaining 357 Nigerians, representing seven percent of the figure are children. About 50% of these people could be saved if they wore seatbelts. Driver safety is very important. When you are behind the wheel, your actions will affect you, the people you carry in the car and anyone else who happens to be on the road near you.
One way to promote safety is to always wear your seatbelt when the car is in motion even when you are driving within your Estate because studies have shown that 75% of car accidents and injuries occur within 25 miles of the home. Also, more than half of all injury-producing motor accidents involve low speed under 40mph.
Perhaps, you don’t like wearing a seatbelt or don’t find the task to be very important, our list of reasons to wear a seatbelt may just change your mind.
- Seatbelt Saves Lives: The function of the front seatbelts is to stop the forward momentum of the driver and front passenger in the event of an accident. It is the best defense against road hazards, aggressive drivers, distracted drivers etc. The front and back of a car are designed to crumple to absorb the violent shock of impact, and the front seatbelts would restrain the front occupants and hold them back with the car. Without the front seatbelts, forward momentum would smash the head and body into the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield.
- It works together with Airbags: We are in the day and age when front airbags are standard accessories, unquestioning belief in the life-saving property of airbags often devalues the importance of seatbelts. The reality is airbags are designed to work in conjunction with seatbelts, not independently or in place of seatbelts. Without putting up a seatbelt, an airbag might not expand fast enough to cushion the forward momentum of the occupant and in certain cases plowing unrestrained into an airbag has been known to cause death by suffocation.
- It is the Law: Wearing a seatbelt is the law in any country both developing countries. If you are caught not wearing a seatbelt you could face expensive fines and consequences.
- Safety of our Children: Children in a car are more vulnerable to getting flung in the event of an accident. Seatbelts work on top of various child restraint systems each tailored to the height of the child to significantly reduce the fatality rate of children in car accidents. Of every 100 children who die in motor vehicle accidents at least, 80 would survive if they were properly secured in an approved child safety seat or safety belt.
- Maximum protection for pregnant women: Wearing a seatbelt is critical to the protection of both mother and child. It is perfectly safe for even heavily pregnant women. It may be slightly uncomfortable for an expectant mother but wearing a seatbelt will not harm the baby at all and it reduces the fatality risk of the mother without whom the fetus’s chances of survival are grim.
In conclusion, people have a general notion that the back seatbelt is not useful like that of the front, this is not true. It is as important as the front seatbelts. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) wearing a front seatbelt can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 50% while wearing a back seatbelt can reduce the risk by a whopping 75%.
Make wearing your seatbelt a habit. The next time you get in a car remember to buckle up, no one plans to get into an accident but if someone whose wife/girlfriend/Boss/Pastor annoyed heavily runs into your car, a seatbelt can save your life only if you are wearing it.