Brake raises alarm over young drivers and seat belts

Half of young drivers admit to being in a car with someone not wearing a seat belt in the past year, according to new research by Brake.
In a survey of 2,000 drivers, 49% of those aged 18-24 said they had travelled in a car in which someone wasn't wearing a seat belt in the past 12 months.
Young drivers are nearly three times more likely to be in a car with someone who isn't belted up compared to all drivers, and over eight times more likely than drivers over 65.
Wearing seat belts in the front seats of a car became mandatory on 31 January 1983. For passengers in the back seats, wearing seat belts became mandatory in 1991.
Statistics released by the Department for Transport last year showed that 27% of the 787 car occupants who died in 2017 were not wearing seat belts. That equals 212 lives which potentially could have been saved if a seat belt was being used, or more than four every week, the road safety charity said.
European legislation due to come into force in September 2019 will require seat belt reminder systems for all seats in new cars.
Josh Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, described this as a "great step forward" but added: "Unfortunately, we've found that young people are most exposed to this issue and they are far less likely to be purchasing new vehicles. We need the government to target safety campaigns at the younger generations to make sure they hear loud and clear that seat belts save lives."
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams commented: "Buckling up takes seconds and saves lives, and it is difficult to comprehend why a driver or passenger of any age would choose not to do this and put themselves at risk."
With younger drivers disproportionately involved in accidents, these findings should prompt the Government to examine why this is the case and what can be done to reduce collision rates, Williams said.