Motor Vehicle Claims: Seatbelt Safety

Seatbelt safety in Victoria is more important than ever before: the rising number of road accident deaths in Victoria has been linked with an increase in drivers failing to wear seatbelts on the roads.

As of May 2019, road accident deaths in Victoria were at an all-time high – 140 deaths in comparison with 88 deaths reported by the TAC at the same time last year.  Of the 140 deaths, 18 people were not wearing seatbelts.

Over the 2019 Easter long weekend this year, 350 people were fined for not wearing seatbelts. Victorian drivers’ failure to wear a seatbelt is a main issue for road accidents this year, alongside speed, drugs and alcohol, as reported by Assistant Police Commissioner for road safety Stephen Leane.

Road safety Minister Jaala Pulford also commented “we have a problem with people not putting their seatbelts on, its just astonishing to me.” As a huge contributor to motor vehicle accidents, seatbelt safety requires attention, and authorities are hoping to respond with education campaigns and enforcement. An emergency summit to address the spike in road accidents is also being held, with experts coming together from the TAC, VicRoads, RACV, Victoria Police, Road Trauma Support Services and Monash University Accident Research Centre, and motorbike and bicycle advocates.

While authorities come together to discuss broader approach initiatives for improving road safety, road users should also be taking responsibility for their actions on the roads - buckling up and putting on your seatbelt should be an easy requirement for road users.

The TAC highlights that seatbelts are proven to reduce the amount of injuries sustained by those driving on Victorian roads. Seatbelts have been a legal requirement in Victoria since 1970, and have reduced the risk of serious or fatal injury by 50%. Wearing a seatbelt while driving is a simple task, yet it is a clear contributor to the sharp increase in deaths on Victorian roads this year.

What happens if I do not wear my seatbelt?

When a road accident occurs, a seat belt stops drivers and passengers from being thrown around inside the vehicle. Most injuries suffered by drivers and passengers are through contact with the dashboard, windscreen and steering well, as well as the interior of the vehicle. A seatbelt will stop you from making contact with these things.

A seatbelt also prevents drivers and passengers from being thrown outside of the vehicle if a road accident were to occur. By wearing a seatbelt, your likelihood of suffering an injury in a road accident can be reduced by 60%.

Victorian laws require all drivers and passengers, including children, to wear a seatbelt. Failure to do so may mean you have broken the law and can result in a penalty such as a hefty fine or loss of demerit points.

Have you been injured in a road accident?

If you have suffered injury from a road accident, you are entitled to make a motor vehicle accident claim with the TAC. We recommend you seek independent legal advice about your rights and entitlements.  At Gordon Legal, our specialist TAC lawyers can help you navigate your rights and any compensation you may be able to claim. 

If you were the cause of a car accident resulting in injuries and the police have charged you for a criminal offence, then you may not have access to all compensation you would otherwise be entitled to claim.

Car accidents can have lifelong consequences. Our expert motor vehicle accident claim lawyers understand the human toll road accidents have, not only on those involved but the ripple effects on their families and the wider community. For us every case is personal and you come first. Contact Gordon Legal today to speak to one of our friendly and experienced lawyers.