Research Article

Non-fatal injuries sustained by seatbelt wearers: a comparative study.

Br Med J 1976; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6047.1310 (Published 27 November 1976) Cite this as: Br Med J 1976;2:1310
  1. M S Christian

    Abstract

    The injuries sustained by 969 drivers and front-seat passengers in road-traffic accidents were studied. Altogether 196 (20-2%) of the drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts and 773 (79-8%) were not. The injuries among the two groups differed greatly in both severity and distribution. A total of 54 (27-6%) of the seatbelt wearers sustained one or more fractures compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers, and 18 (9-2%) of the seatbelt wearers were severely injured compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers. Soft-tissue injuries to the face were sustained by only 29 (14-8%) of the seatbelt wearers compared with 425 (55%) of the non-wearers. Since wearing seatbelts may become compulsory, the type and pattern of injuries to be expected in wearers should be appreciated.