The investigation, based on insurance board data, describes an analysis of the effect of seat belts in Finnish road traffic accidents which involved at least one fatal injury during the period 1970 to 1979. Of the fatally injured, only 24.2 per cent had worn belts compared with 38.8 per cent of the moderately injured and 37.8 per cent of those not injured. Fatally injured drivers and front seat passengers wore the belt less often than the victims of collision. However, nearly half the drivers in fatal one-vehicle accidents had alcohol in their blood, compared with only 14.1 per cent for collisions. Women seemed to use the belt more than men. Of the total of 2766 fatalities investigated, an estimated 48.3 per cent would have been prevented by the wearing of seat belts. The same effect could be true for the front and rear seats of cars and vans, but slightly lower in lorries. In one-vehicle accidents the life saving effect of wearing a belt was estimated as 61.5 per cent. Where the effectiveness of the belt was related to the speed of the vehicle involved in an accident, there were only very small differences in the different speed categories indicating that seat belts are useful at low-speed as well as high-speed accidents. Small children need a special safety seat and children over eight should use a normal belt or one specially modified for children. (TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine

    Huddinge University Hospital Center, Traffic Medicine Center
    Stockholm,   Sweden  141 86
  • Authors:
    • Tolonen, J
    • Santavirta, S
    • Kviluoto, O
  • Publication Date: 1983-9

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 49-52
  • Serial:
    • Journal of traffic medicine
    • Volume: 11
    • Issue Number: 3
    • Publisher: International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine
    • ISSN: 0345-5564

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00385531
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-036 445
  • Files: HSL, ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 30 1984 12:00AM