The NSW Centre for Road Safety has today revealed the harrowing consequences of incorrectly wearing a seatbelt under the arm or travelling in a reclined seat.

Shocking footage, filmed at the Crashlab facility, demonstrates the injuries inflicted on two crash test dummies in a vehicle travelling at 60 km per hour.

KEY POINTS
• 30 people died on our roads last year not wearing a seatbelt or when fitted incorrectly
• More than 12,000 seriously injured on our roads each year
• Incorrectly worn seatbelts can cause massive internal injuries or death at 60km/h

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said at the start of Yellow Ribbon National Road Safety Week the crash test footage should serve as a warning to road users.

“Think about when you have worn, or have seen someone wear, a seatbelt under the arm to prevent it from rubbing on the neck, or to prevent clothes from being creased, and think about the potential consequences demonstrated in this crash test footage,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Another reason is beauty – whether you’re putting on make-up in the mirror or don’t want your spray tan to be smudged, you really need to watch this footage. Vanity is not worth it.”

“Think about when you’ve been tired and reclined your seat as a passenger in a moving car or indeed reclined your seat while driving – as we see with young men ‘low riding’.

Dr Jeremy Hsu, Head of Trauma and a Surgeon at Westmead Hospital, says the most striking feature of the seatbelt under the arm dummy was bent in half.

“All the force is applied to the abdomen which would probably result in injuries to the liver, spleen, anything within the abdomen,” Dr Hsu said.

“When it came to the low rider test, a very high-risk of death and permanent disability,” Dr Hsu concluded.

To view the Crashlab test footage click here

For the NSW Road Rules on seatbelts and advice on restraints see: http://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/vehiclesafety/seatbeltsrestraints/index.html