Fastening your seatbelt properly could save your life. (submitted)

Drivesmart: Some people still don’t wear their seatbelt

I cannot stress enough the importance of the section on occupant restraints in your vehicle’s manual!

By Tim Schewe

Over my lifetime so far, I’ve gone from a child who rode on a foam mattress in the back of our family station wagon on summer road trips to a grandfather who would not dream of driving anywhere without granddaughters safely buckled up in proper child restraints. Needless to say, wearing my own seatbelt has become a reflex action. I’m uncomfortable if I don’t wear it and don’t notice it when I do.

It is still not that uncommon to find people who are unbelted, even though B.C. has had mandatory seatbelt use rules since October 1977.

Transport Canada reports that B.C. met it’s Road Safety Vision 2010 target of 95 per cent compliance along with Quebec, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Citing Canada as a whole, 36 per cent of fatally injured drivers and 38 per cent of fatally injured passengers were not wearing their belts at the time of the collision. It is estimated that about 300 lives could be saved every year if everyone wore belts.

If you do not wear your seatbelt properly, the deployment of the airbag during a crash could cause serious injury or death instead of protecting you. I cannot stress enough the importance of reading and understanding the section on occupant restraints in your vehicle’s owner’s manual!

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement. To comment or learn more, please visit DriveSmartBC.ca

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