A Quarter Of Irish Women Make This Potentially Fatal Mistake On The Roads Every Day
Are you one of them?
You’ve probably had it drilled into you since you were a kid: always wear your seatbelt.
After all, it only takes a few seconds to strap yourself in, and it’s a move that could potentially save your life and that of other passengers. It’s a no-brainer.
What you might not have been made so keenly aware of though, is that the way in which you wear your seatbelt is just as important as whether you’re wearing one at all. As part of its new #killerlook campaign – which you may have spotted on our Instagram page last week – the Road Safety Authority revealed that a staggeringly high percentage of Irish women wear their seatbelt incorrectly, putting the shoulder strap under their arm rather than over their shoulder.
It might seem like a minor detail, but in the event of a collision, the consequences of wearing your seatbelt under your arm could be disastrous. By positioning the belt under your arm, you’re leaving your upper torso – including your neck, face and head – completely unrestrained in the event of a collision.
“In such a situation you would be exposed to horrific injury,” says Moyagh Murdoch, CEO of the Road Safety Authority. How horrific? Well, head injuries, paralysis, abdominal injuries, extreme lower body injuries and even death, if you really want to know.
A sample survey of 300 women between the ages of 17 and 34 found that a massive 28% of Irish females wear their seatbelt under their arm, a figure which rises to 35% of women in those aged 17 – 29. Shockingly, over a quarter of women surveyed (28%) said they believed it was safe to wear a seatbelt under the arm, and half of women said they often saw their friends doing it.
The main reasons women gave for wearing their seatbelt incorrectly were to relieve neck tension and to alleviate discomfort. Yes, on a long drive, the pressure of a seatbelt against your neck can be uncomfortable, but there are other ways to fix this: adjusting the height of your seat and your belt from the door frame, or investing in a seatbelt tension adjuster.
Let’s face it, if it’s a toss up between some temporary discomfort and the lifelong consequences of a severe neck injury, we know which one we’ll be choosing.
Through its new campaign, the Road Safety Authority is educating drivers and passengers alike of the importance of not only wearing a seatbelt, but wearing it correctly. Otherwise you could end up with this season’s killer look. For more information check out rsa.ie.
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