Many people, in this region, don?t fasten their seat belts while seated at the back of a vehicle. Popular reason given, ?The law doesn?t require me to do so?! But the question is, do you know why is it required to buckle up?
Road traffic accidents is a public health problem, and the middle east is popular for it?s rash drivers and their wrong road behaviour. Along with unsafe driving practices, the safety of the passengers is something that needs light on.
?People in the front seat should wear seat belts; and for those seated behind it isn?t required?, says Mohammed Sarwar, who has been driving in the capital for the past ten years. ?They are safe behind, so let them seat comfortably?, he adds.
But are the back seat passengers completely free from accidents? According to a study, published by The Journal of the American Medical Association (source A); it states that, the risk of death was higher for the other occupants of the car if anyone was seated unrestrained no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. For example, someone in the front seat wearing a seat belt, is at a risk of death by 20 percent if the person behind them was unrestrained. This is because, in the event of an accident (or if the car sudden breaks); the passenger seated behind is thrown forward with a force (equivalent to thrice their weight), causing injury to themselves and the passengers seated at the front.
?I hate wearing seat belts in a vehicle because you can not move. It is very limiting?, says Arjun Nair. But this loss of freedom is a small sacrifice in the event of a head on collision. Based on findings, researchers (from all over the world; source A) are of the opinion that the use of a seat belt among rear-seat occupants could prevent about one in a six deaths of front-seat passengers caused by car accidents.
?When I first came to the UAE I was shocked to see that passengers were traveling unprotected, especially the little ones. My colleagues thought child seats were an unnecessary expense and argued that the kids would be okay if I drive safe. It is obvious that I will be extra careful if my five year old is seated behind; but how can I guarantee that another driver do so? In these matters, one needs to be prudent and take the necessary safety measures. Just having stickers on your vehicle mentioning that ?Baby on Board? or ?Call if I am driving unsafe? isn?t enough; a good driver not only warns fellow road users but ensures that his passengers are protected?, Anderrea K opinions.
Buckling up is not just for your safety, but for the benefit of all traveling in a vehicle; freedom and comfort is needed but not at the sake of your life!
*** source A- WEBMD Health News