Motoring corner:“Seat Belts, Airbags and Children”

Seat belts, both the lap belt and shoulder harness, must be in good working order. You may not operate your vehicle unless you and all your passengers six years of age orolder,or who weigh 30kgs. or more, are wearing seatbelts.

Seat belts, both the lap belt and shoulder harness, must be in good working order. You may not operate your vehicle unless you and all your passengers six years of age orolder, or who weigh 30kgs. or more, are wearing seat belts.

Younger children must be seated in an approved child passenger restraint system. You and your passengers must wear seat belts while your vehicle is moving on public roads and on private property, such as public parking lots. If seat belts are not worn by any of your passengers, you and the passenger may be liable to penalty.

You will be penalised if a passenger, younger than 16 years of age, is not wearing his or her seat belt.
Always use your seat belts (including the shoulder harness) even if the vehicle is equipped with air bags. You can have shoulder harnesses or seat belts installed in older vehicles. Even if you wear only a lap belt when driving, your chances of living through a collision are twice as high as someone who does not wear a lap belt.

If you wear a lap and shoulder belt, your chances are three to four times higher to live through a collision. Pregnant women should wear the lap belt as low as possible under the abdomen, and the shoulder strap should be placed between the breasts and to the side of the abdomen’s bulge.
It is important to note that, the wearing of seat belts reduces the risk of being thrown from your vehicle in a collision. If you do not install and use a shoulder harness with the seat (lap) belt, serious or fatal injuries may happen in some crashes.

Lap-only belts increase the chance of spinal column and abdominal injuries, especially in children. Shoulder harnesses may be available for your vehicle, if it is not already equipped with them. 

If you are wondering, the so called seat belt comes with two sections, the one that secures you into a seating position and the other that goes round your chest (from shoulder to hip) but in some vehicles, there is only the seat section (especially for rear seats).
Some people have unfounded beliefs, or may I call them misconceptions that, Seat Belts “Seat belts can trap you inside a vehicle.” It actually takes less than a second to take off a seat belt.

This myth often describes a vehicle that caught fire or sank in deep water. A seat belt may keep you from being “knocked out.” Therefore, your chances to escape are better if you are conscious; once you are conscious and alive, you can undo the seat belt and escape!  

Some people say that, “Seat belts are good on long trips, but I don’t need them if I’m driving around town.” More than half of all traffic deaths happen within 25 miles of home.

That is not true; do not take chances with your life or the lives of your passengers. Always buckle up every time you drive regardless of travel distance. “Some people are thrown from a vehicle in a crash and walk away with hardly a scratch.”

Your chances of surviving a collision are five times better if, upon impact, you are not thrown from the vehicle. A seat belt can keep you from being thrown into the path of another vehicle.
Some people say that, they are just going next door and hence, no need to belt up! They are wrong, an accident could just a few metres out of your parkway; say another speeding driver could ram into you! Car collisions are the number one preventable cause of death for children. 

In most countries, the law requires that you buckle children into a approved child passenger restraint system. (To be Cont’d)