One in four motorists have driven their car without wearing a seatbelt, according to a new study.
Research revealed a large percentage of drivers flout the law by refusing to buckle up, usually to drive short distances to local shops or around areas where they live.
Moving their car from the road to the driveway, or parking in a car park are also occasions when drivers either choose to ignore the law, or forget to wear their seatbelt.
David Carter of Accident Advice Helpline, which carried out the study, said “Seatbelts are a lifesaving addition to your car and it’s worrying how many people have driven without wearing one.
“It takes just a few seconds to do up your seatbelt but it could save your life if you happen to be involved in an accident on the road”.
It also emerged plenty of drivers are unaware of the situations in which you legally have to wear a seatbelt.
Know the law
One third believe you don’t have to wear a seatbelt in a minibus, which is untrue.
And four out of 10 (44%) believe pregnant women don’t have to wear a seatbelt, which is again not true – unless your doctor has specifically issued a certificate of exemption.
With a child under the age of 14 it is the parent or guardian’s responsibility to ensure the youngster wears a seatbelt, resulting in a fine for the adult if the child doesn’t wear one.
Nine out of 10 people were unclear on this with 28% believing the age was under 14 and 64 per cent believing it was older.
It also emerged most people (82%) are willing to speak out if one of their passengers isn’t wearing a seatbelt.
People were, however, less likely to ask a driver to buckle up, with seven out of 10 saying they would always ask the driver to wear a seatbelt.
Another 14% said it would depend upon the length of the journey and 10 per cent of wouldn’t say anything as it would be’ awkward’.