Intended for healthcare professionals


Child safety in cars

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 07 December 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1183

Why have rear seatbelts not positively impacted on casualty figures?

Rear seatbelts became compulsory for under 14's in September 1989 in
Adams studied statistics for children killed and injured in rear seats
using Road
Accidents of Great Britain as his source. He compared figures from the
before with the year after the law, 1988 with 1990.

These show that fatalities for this group increased by just under 10%
injuries by nearly 12%. These increases are above trend when compared
other road user groups.

Why have rear seatbelts for children been such an apparent failure
when there is
no dispute about their ability in the event of a crash to protect the

Adams, J Risk. Routledge 1995

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

09 December 2006
Peter W Ward
Gateshead NE8 1NR