The law requires that all vehicle occupants are secured using an appropriate seatbelt or safety harness at all times when in a car, whether as a passenger or a driver.
To prevent injury, it is particularly important that you remember to ensure that all children are wearing a seatbelt, in a booster seat, or in a car seat appropriate for their age, size and weight.
If you are involved in a car accident and you are not wearing a seatbelt then your compensation may be reduced as a result. However our specialist lawyers can advise you as to how this fact might impact the sum of compensation you are likely to receive.
Exceptions to the seat belt rules
The are some situations in which a person does not need to wear a seatbelt. According to YouGov, these are as follows:
- You are driver and are reversing, or supervising a learner driver who is reversing
- You are in a vehicle being used for police, fire and rescue services
- You are a passenger in a trade vehicle and you're investigating a fault
- You are driving a goods vehicle, on deliveries, that is travelling no more than 50 metres between stops
- You are a licensed taxi driver who is "plying for hire" or carrying passengers
- You have a valid medical exemption certificate
The risks affecting back seat passengers
In a crash at 30mph, an adult back seat passenger is thrown forward with a force of three and a half tonnes, equal to the weight of an elephant. A child in the back seat will be thrown forward similarly, although because of their reduced weight the forces involved will be slightly less.
So, even if the front seat passengers are wearing seatbelts, a back seat passenger who is not properly retrained could cause fatal injury to the other vehicle occupants.
According to US research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety the safest place for a child to sit in a car is in the rear. However, this is not the same for older adults. The study revealed that passengers of 55 and older who were travelling in the rear seats of cars were more likely to die in a crash than those passengers in the front seats even when wearing a seatbelt.
Car accident claims with Scotland's number one firm
If you have been involved in a car accident, but are unsure whether you would be able to make a compensation claim, contact our No Win No Fee lawyers today on 0800 0891331. We can investigate matters for you and advise you on the first steps towards receiving compensation.
Thompsons is recognised as Scotland's leading firm and each week secures its clients around £1 million in compensation.