Seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to protect people from needless traffic injuries and death. The facts are clear. Serious and fatal traffic injuries are reduced by nearly 50% when drivers and passengers wear seat belts.
Since seat belts were introduced in cars in the 1960s they have saved millions of lives, but more lives would have been saved if they were used more diligently. Studies have shown that when one person puts the seat belt on, the other people in the car are likely to do the same. Therefore, lead by example and buckle up.
Traffic injuries and deaths from distracted driving is on the rise globally. In recent years there has been close to a 100% increase in accidents involving distracted drivers. Every second our attention is elsewhere when we drive, is a second we put our own lives and the lives of others at risk. Of the many interruptions drivers face, mobile phones are the primary reason for the rise in road accidents involving distracted driving. Texting while driving poses the biggest safety risk as it includes three types of distractions:
It's the responsibility of parents to keep their children safe and in a car this means providing age and size appropriate car seats, booster seats and seat belts. The safest place in a car for children under the age of 13 is properly buckled up in the back seat. Car seats reduces the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years old. Booster seats reduce the risk of serious injury by 45% for children ages 4 to 8. So no matter how short the ride, don’t start driving until the children in the car are properly strapped in.
Motorcyclists are the most vulnerable road users as they lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle. The widespread use of motorcycles in Southeast Asia also means motorcyclists top road accident statistics.
A helmet is the most important protective gear you can wear when riding a motorcycle. While not a "cure-all" for motorcycle safety, a correctly worn helmet will in a crash protect your brain, your face and your life. Helmets reduce the risk of head injuries by 69% and the risk of death by 42%, and every motorcycle ride should start with putting on a helmet.
An estimated 5% of all road accidents are related to old and worn tires. In wet conditions worn tires can be dangerous if the grooves in the tires aren’t deep enough to channel water out from beneath the tread. This greatly reduces road grip and breaking distance of the vehicle, and can cause hydroplaning where the worn tread allows the tire to skim the water's surface and no longer respond to the steering wheel.
Tires worn 75% down go 50% further before stopping than the same tires when new. Bald tires take almost twice as long to stop as the same tires when new. Severely worn tires are prone to blow-outs which are very dangerous when vehicles travel at high speeds. To stay safe on the road, check your tires regularly and change them when signs of wear start to emerge.