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Millions of drivers travel unbelted

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Written by:
31/01/2008

Nearly 2.3m drivers don’t always wear a seatbelt while travelling, research from insurer Liverpool Victoria (LV=) has shown.

A further 38% of passengers surveyed by the insurer said they don’t always bother to belt up in the back, despite it being compulsory for the last 17 years. Top reasons for drivers not belting up were forgetting (22%) and not thinking it was necessary for short journeys (16%).

UK drivers can currently be fined as much as £500 for not wearing a seatbelt, yet many continue to take the risk. According to Government figures, there are 37,000 fatal or serious injuries every year on the UK’s roads, many of which could be prevented by wearing a seatbelt. LV= has said that any insurance claim made by a driver who has been injured while not wearing a seatbelt is likely to be reduced, even if they are not at fault in the accident.

Martin Milliner, spokesperson for LV=, said: “We would really urge drivers and passengers to think again about their safety and ensure that everyone in the car is buckled up on every journey – in some cases it could be the biggest favour they ever do for friends or family. While it is the passengers’ own responsibility to make sure they are properly buckled up, drivers should also ensure that this is happening, as much for their own safety as the passengers .”

He added: “It has been 17 years since rear seat belts became compulsory and our research suggests that the message is still not getting through and confusion remains regarding the law and the consequences.”

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