DATA YOU SHOULD BE AWARE OF
- Deaths, disabilities and injuries caused by road accidents are increasing drastically all over the world. Every year, 1.2 million people die in road accidents worldwide.
- The numbers are rapidly increasing and, according to calculations of the World Health Organization, the number of deaths is expected to reach 2.4 million per year by 2020.
- Road accidents are currently the 9th most common cause of death, in general, and the 1st cause of death, regarding children and young people until 25 years old.
- According to data of the Ministry of Public Order, every year in Greece, there are:
- 1,500 deaths
- 2,400 serious injuries and
- 20,000 minor injuries
- It is calculated that half of those people would have been saved had they fastened their seatbelt.
THE PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTUM
A vehicle in a collision is abruptly and violently brought to a halt. Passengers not wearing seatbelts will keep travelling inside the car at the same speed, crashing into the windshield or the dashboard. The momentum at which they crash is equivalent to the product of their weight by the speed at the moment of the collision. For example, if a vehicle collides at a speed of 50 km/hour, a person weighting 80 kilograms will hit on the dashboard at (50×80 = 4,000 kilos) A MOMENTUM OF FOUR TONNES! ONLY a seatbelt can save a person in such a case.
SEATBELTS ARE ALSO NECESSARY FOR BACKSEAT PASSENGERS
In case of an accident, the risk of death for the driver and the frontseat passenger, if there are passengers in the back seats not wearing seatbelts, is 5 times higher. The backseat passengers will collide with frontseat passengers wearing seatbelts with a momentum equivalent to an elephant weighting four tonnes! Japanese researchers studied serious accident data (from 1995 to 1999) and concluded that 80% of the deaths caused to front-seat passengers could have been avoided had the back-seat passengers fastened their seatbelts.
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THAT BEFORE?
- “I’m not going far”. In fact, this is one of the most important times to fasten your seatbelt, since the majority of fatal road accidents happen within the urban network, at a speed not exceeding 60 kilometers per hour.
- “I’m a good driver and I won’t crash”. This may be true, but there is always a chance that a not so “good” driver will crash into you…
- “I will hold onto the steering wheel tightly”. This is not possible. The power of momentum prevents it.
- “I don’t need a seatbelt because my car has an airbag”. The airbag increases the effectiveness of seatbelts by 40%. However, if you are not wearing a seatbelt, the airbag may seriously injure you. Moreover, the airbag will not protect you at all in cases of side collisions.