The Road Traffic Safety Agency understands its role, as well as the obligation with regard to reaching the goals defined in the Strategy for Road Traffic Safety to significantly reduce the casualties in traffic and reduce the number of fatalities and seriously injured by half in the year 2020 compared to the data in 2011. Having that in mind the Agency has initiated a very important campaign for raising the awareness of people on safe behavior in traffic with the slogan “Never …”. In one part, the campaign covers the seat belt use in cars. The importance and the timing of initiating the campaign is justified by the facts on drivers and passengers in vehicles being exposed to high risks.
Most of the people were killed and injured as drivers or passengers in vehicle. About half of killed and injured in road accidents are drivers and passengers. In 2015, 269 people were killed and about 11.000 were injured in vehicles, which make about 45% of all killed, that is 59% of all injured in road accidents.
Great number of driver and passenger casualties in cars could be related to the results of the latest research conducted by the Agency about the percentage of seat belt use in cars for the year 2016 in Serbia. Namely, about 75% of car drivers, 72% of front passengers, and only every tenth rear passenger (about 9%) fastens the belt in cars. When compared to the seat belt use in more developed countries, where the system of road safety management had been established (in Germany, France and Sweden the seat belt use is 98% for front passengers), it is noticeable that the people’s consciousness about seat belt use is on a very low level.
According to the Law in Serbia, seat belt use is obligatory on all seats in cars, and the primary task of the restraint system – the seat belt is to keep the body tied in the seat and thus reduce bodily injuries. During the crash of the vehicle with an obstacle, the vehicle stops, and the unfastened bodies inside the vehicle continue to move and hit the inside of the vehicle – stirring wheel, windshield glasses, seat in front, etc. A fastened seatbelt in these situations has a role to keep the passenger fastened for the seat and prevent injuries!
Seat belt use in front seats reduces the risk of fatalities for 40-50%, while in the rear seats the percent is between 25-75%.
Seat belt is designed to go over the hardest body parts – shoulder and the pelvis. It is well known that the burden of driver and passenger during the crash increases for about 20 times. In that way the rear seat passenger can injure the front seat passenger or the driver, regardless of the fact if they wear a seat belt or not. This is way it is important for all the passengers in the cars to use the seat belt.