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Buckle Up for a Smooth and Safe Drive

Wearing seatbelts can help you and your car passengers stay safe and secure inside your vehicle and reduce the chances of fatal injury by almost 45%.

  • 15 Sep 2022
  • min read
  • 265 views

Often commuting by cab or your car makes the journey smooth. You may enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel or prefer relaxing in the rear seat humming your favourite tune. Either way, do you wear a seatbelt whenever you are on the go?

Why wearing a seatbelt is important?

In a report, this year, WHO said wearing belts in the rear seat can reduce the risk of being killed and injured by 25% and 75% respectively. Closer home, surveys done by Maruti Suzuki India in 2017 revealed poor compliance with seatbelt laws as hardly 4% of respondents used seatbelts.Compared to 2020, deaths by road accidents increased by almost 17% in 2021. Do you know what was one of the major causes of death? Yes, not wearing a seatbelt.

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How do seatbelts help in enhancing safety?

Seatbelts hold the occupants of the car in place and prevent them from being catapulted forward during an accident. While the seatbelt ensures that the individual stays in his/her place, the airbag’s job is to protect the head and chest from impact. During a collision, seatbelts provide the primary restraint, whereas slamming into an airbag in case of an accident reduces the impact. While all cars in India have seatbelts at the front and rear, they may not have rear airbags. For safe driving, you must get them as part of the accessories. 

Let’s look at what the Indian law says about seatbelts

We all know that wearing a seatbelt is mandatory while sitting in a front seat. But did you know it's compulsory for rear seats too? In India, most cars have rear seats that face the front. As per Indian law, car manufacturers must provide seatbelts for all such seats too and passengers must buckle them up. Breaking this rule can attract a fine of Rs 1,000 for the passengers. However, the execution of the rule remains a concern.

A 2019 report by SaveLIFE Foundation stated that not even 1% of Indians use rear seatbelts. What’s worse is that 23.9% of those surveyed did not even know about rear seatbelts. The study also revealed that 77% of the kids who travelled in the rear seat did not wear seatbelts.

In February, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways proposed that all front-facing seats must have a Y-shaped seat belt. The proposal included the rear-middle seat as well. 

Debunking a few myths around seatbelt safety 


Myth: In case of fire or drowning situations, seatbelts trap you inside the car  
Fact: Two things to know here are—one, the chances of collision are way higher than a car catching fire or getting submerged in water. Two, there are very less chances of malfunctioning of the seatbelt release mechanism. The benefits outweigh the risks.  
 
Myth: If your car has airbags, you may skip wearing seatbelts 
Fact: As explained earlier, the two have very distinct roles and save you when used together. One without the other may prove useless.  
 
Myth: Seatbelts are needed only on highways 
Fact: Accidents can happen anywhere regardless of how short the distance or how slow you are driving. Always wear seatbelts.  
Importance of Seatbelts

General seatbelt guidelines to follow 


  • Children should be buckled in age and size-appropriate car seats.
  • Pregnant women should ensure that the lap belt is below the belly and not above or across their belly.
  • Others including senior citizens should ensure that they are comfortable with the belt on. Skipping wearing the seatbelt is not an option.


In Conclusion 

Irrespective of where you are sitting in the car, protecting yourself and others becomes easy when you follow the rules of safe driving.  

ICICI Lombard urges you to make the #NeverSkipSeatbelt promise and choose to use seatbelt for all. 

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