A reminder to wear your seat belt correctly

Published: 1 May 2018

Shocking new footage of two crash test dummies is a timely reminder that an incorrectly worn seat belt can cause massive internal injuries or death at 60 kilometres per hour.

The NSW Centre for Road Safety has revealed the harrowing consequences of incorrectly wearing a seat belt under the arm or travelling in a reclined seat.

The footage, filmed by the NSW Centre for Road Safety at their Crashlab facility, demonstrates the injuries inflicted on two crash test mannequins in a vehicle travelling at 60 kilometres per hour.

The passenger mannequin is wearing the diagonal belt of the seat belt under its arm instead of over its shoulder. On impact, the passenger is flung forward into the inflating airbag and its torso bends in half.

The driver mannequin is wearing its seat belt in 'low-rider' position with the diagonal belt over the shoulder and across the chest and the lap belt low across the hips. On impact, the driver’s whole body is flung forward and its head slams into the steering-wheel airbag while the lower airbag protects the knees from impact. The driver's head and torso are then thrust back into the seat, which is in a semi-reclined position.

In real life, such force is likely to cause injuries to the liver, spleen and abdomen. This could lead to death or permanent disability. More than 30 people died in 2017 as a result of not wearing a seat belt properly or at all.

More than 12,000 seriously injured on our roads each year.

Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said the crash test footage should serve as a warning to road users.

“Think about when you have worn, or have seen someone wear, a seat belt under the arm, and think about the potential consequences demonstrated in this crash test footage,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Think about when you’ve been tired and reclined your seat as a passenger in a moving car or indeed reclined your seat while driving – as we see with young men ‘low riding’."

Read the road rules related to seat belts and restraints

Top of page