A quarter of drivers and passengers killed on Irish roads last year were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Statistics released today by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána reveal that of the 149 people to lose their lives on our roads in 2020, 25 per cent did not have a seatbelt on.
This means that about 37 deaths may have been prevented last year.
Gardaí also say that it issued 8,770 fixed charge notices for seat belt offences over a 12 month period between November 2019 and November 2020.
The RSA is now urging drivers and passengers to always wear a seat belt on every journey.
Its chief executive Sam Waide said: “While it won’t prevent a crash, wearing a seat belt can reduce the severity of injuries, if you are involved in a crash.
“In fact, wearing one reduces the risk of death among drivers and front seat passengers by half, and the risk of death and serious injuries among rear seat occupants by a quarter.”
“For most people, putting on their seat belt has become second nature, but as we can see from our analysis of the casualty statistics from 2020, there is still a percentage who don’t.
“These deaths could have been prevented if drivers and passengers had been wearing a seatbelt.”
Gardaí say all drivers and adult passengers in a vehicle are required by law to wear a seat belt.
Drivers are responsible for ensuring any passengers under 17 years of age are appropriately restrained. As a driver, if you do not use a seatbelt, you risk a fine and three penalty points, which remain on your licence for three years.
Passengers over 17 can be fined €60 for not wearing a seatbelt.