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Sunday 30 April 2017

Young women at risk over wearing seatbelt incorrectly for comfort or to 'protect their tan'

Image from This Season's Killer Look RSA campaign
Image from This Season's Killer Look RSA campaign
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

Young women are being urged to wear their seatbelts correctly in a new campaign.

The Road Safety Authority surveyed 300 women aged 17-34 and found that 28pc admitted to wearing their seatbelt the wrong way.

That number rose to 35pc among the younger cohort and more than half of the women interviewed said their friend wears their seatbelt the wrong way.

The main reasons cited for wearing the seatbelt under the arm were to relieve neck tension (49%) and for general comfort (47%). However, 9% said it was to protect their tan, or 7% to protect clothing.

Almost a quarter of those who responded (23pc) said they do not always wear a seatbelt when sitting in the back.

The RSA have rolled out a This Season's Killer Look campaign which features a woman modelling in a car before highlighting the injuries which can result from not wearing your seatbelt.

These include spinal damage caused by impact requires the wearing of a full-body cast (not always, only in "minor cases"), and may result in partial or total paralysis, life changing injuries and collision with windscreen can result in severe facial scarring, and in some cases blindness. brain injury, neck spinal injury.

“How you wear your seat belt is as important as whether you wear your seat belt or not. Worryingly, whether for comfort or vanity, many women choose to wear their seatbelts under the arm, instead of over the shoulder, which exposes them to terrible injuries and even death in the event of a crash.

"Placing the shoulder strap of the seatbelt under their arm leaves your upper torso — including your neck, face and head — completely unrestrained during a collision," RSA chief executive Moyagh Murdock said.

“My message to anyone who wears their seatbelt under their arm is simple – wear your seatbelt correctly. The belt should be worn diagonally across the wearer’s chest on their shoulder and never under the arm.

"If it feels uncomfortable, adjust the height of the belt on the anchor point on the door frame or adjust the seat position and height," she added.

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