It seems not everyone. In Spain, 12 out of every 100 people travelling in light vehicles are not wearing a seatbelt. The same happens with child restraint.
In 2013, four of the 20 minors under 12 years of age, killed while travelling in a car or van were not using a child restraining system at the time of the accident, nor 14 of the 88 seriously injured, nor 197 of the 2741 with minor injuries. Worrying figures that the General Traffic Directive (DGT) is trying hard to reduce during the month of March with an ambitious awareness campaign and monitoring of the use of seatbelts and CRS’s.
To reach all of those that are still not using them, the Traffic group of the Guardia Civil and the local and regional police are intensifying their controls on urban and main roads, to check that restraining systems are being used and being used correctly by all of the occupants of a vehicle.
The seatbelt compliments the efficiency of the airbag (either device on it own is not effective), as it stops us from crashing into the windscreen and being thrown out of the vehicle. It also reduces certain injuries by half and shows a five fold reduction in serious injury or death within an urban area.
In the same way, child seats are lifesavers but as well as using a child restraining system (CRS) suitable for the child (weight and height) it must be used correctly. This campaign by the DGT is not only about their use, but it is to help parents to understand their correct use when carrying children in their vehicle:
- Never in your arms, however small the baby. The maximum speed at which an adult can hold a child and stop it from being thrown forward is 5km/hr.
- Always use a Child Restraining System. A child should never be unrestrained or share a seatbelt with an adult, they could be crushed.
- A child should always occupy the rear seats of the car. If under exceptional circumstances they have to travel in the front, then they must use an approved safety device.
- If you carry a child in the front passenger seat then IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE FRONT PASSENGER AIRBAG IS DISCONNECTED.
- Those under 12 but under 135cm in height, are obliged to use a CRS suitable for their size and weight.
- Those under 12 years old but over 135cm in height can use an adult seatbelt if it is correctly adjusted. Correctly adjusted means that the shoulder strap is placed between the breastbone and the collarbone, with the lower strap over the pelvic bones. If this adjustment cannot be achieved then you must use a booster seat: there is no age limit on the use of a booster seat if it still required.
From the MAPFRE FOUNDATION we wish to highlight the responsibilities of adults for the safety of minors. with the aim of reaching our objective: 0 children killed or seriously injured in a traffic accident because they didn’t use or incorrectly used an approved seat for their age and weight.