Everybody knows that you should wear a seatbelt as a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle. The reason for wearing a seatbelt is obvious; they are incredibly effective at protecting you from harm in the event of a motor vehicle accident. So what are the repercussions if you fail to put on your seatbelt and you are injured in a crash?
Firstly, your injuries are likely to be significantly worse if you are not restrained by a seatbelt.
Drivers and front seat passengers who do not wear seatbelts will continue to move forward at the same speed the vehicle was travelling in until something stops them, usually the steering wheel, windscreen or dashboard.
Rear seat passengers similarly will continue forward until something stops them; usually the seat in front of them, the windscreen, or the front seat passenger’s head. If they hit the seat in front of them, the seat is not equipped to handle the extra force. This puts more strain on the seatbelt in the front seat, which is already restraining the front seat passenger and the front seat. This results in much worse injuries for everyone.
There are also significant legal repercussions for not wearing a seatbelt.
If you or your passengers are caught not wearing a seatbelt, you could face a significant fine and lose demerit points.
Reduction of compensation entitlements
In South Australia, if you are injured in a crash and you make a claim for compensation, the simple act of not wearing a seatbelt will result in an automatic reduction for contributory negligence of 25%. For example, a claim that is ordinarily worth $100,000 will be reduced to $75,000 simply because you did not wear a seatbelt. There are very few exceptions to this rule.
Not wearing your seatbelt is just not worth the risk.