Don’t Get This Season’s Killer Look

The RSA has issue a warning to Irish woman about how they wear their seat belts writes Geraldine Herbert

Simply wearing a seat belt is not enough to ensure your safety according to a new report by the RSA A study of 300 women aged 17 to 34 found that more than a third of younger women admitted to misusing a seatbelt by wearing it under the arm and over half of those interviewed said that their friends wore the seatbelt under the arm.

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

The report also noted that while seatbelt compliance is consistently very strong among young females, it is not universal: e.g. 23% do not always wear a seat belt as a rear passenger



New digital ‘Get This Season’s Killer Look’ campaign



Injuries to body following improper seatbelt use.

Head: Collision with windscreen can result in severe facial scarring, and in some cases blindness. Brain injury, neck spinal injury.

Mouth: Impact with the steering column or dashboard of a vehicle can cause severe damage to teeth, leading to victims needing extensive dental repair. May knock teeth down throat, shatter jaw, block airway.

Neck:  Being thrown violently forward in a collision can cause serious injury to the neck and head, and may require surgical repair. May result in paralysis and/or partial or total paralysis.

Torso: 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.

Abdomen: Internal lacerations caused by improper seatbelt use can require extensive surgical repair, and may involve the victim requiring a colostomy bag for life.

Arm: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins.

Leg: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins.

Commenting on the new campaign Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA, said “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.”

“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. Most importantly of all avoid getting “This Season’s Killer Look” because you didn’t wear your seatbelt properly.”

Geraldine Herbert

21st February, 2017

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Contributing Editor and Motoring Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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