Behaviours – Seat Belts

Did You Know?

Seat belts reduce the risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident by half. Buckling up could save your life!

The best possible protection

In Québec, more than 90% of people wear their seat belts.

Despite this fact, each year approximately 30% of drivers and passengers killed in traffic accidents involving passenger vehicles were not buckled in.

In accidents involving one or more heavy vehicles, only 38% of deceased heavy vehicle drivers or passengers were wearing a seat belt.

If you don’t wear a seatbelt... some statistics

On average, each year:

  • 60 people are killed while not wearing a seat belt (drivers and passengers)
  • 150 people are seriously injured while not wearing a seat belt

Seat belts save lives!

If everyone riding in a vehicle were to wear a seat belt, 30 deaths and 75 serious injuries could be avoided every year.

Seat belts were invented to counter the laws of physics and to protect you

A seat belt reduces by half the risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident. The higher the speed, the greater the impact:

  • at 50 km/h, it is like falling from a 4-storey building
  • at 75 km/h, it is like falling from an 8-storey building
  • at 100 km/h, it is like falling from a 14-storey building

That's starting to get pretty high!

Scary statistics!

When an automobile strikes an obstacle at 50 km/h, the impact multiplies the weight of a person or an object by at least 20. In other words, an individual who weighs 70 kg becomes a 1,400 kg projectile!

If you are not wearing a seat belt and an accident happens, you will be thrown against the first thing in your path (front seat, dashboard, windshield, another passenger) depending on where you are in the vehicle. You may also be thrown from the vehicle. Imagine the consequences!

Buckle up, even when driving slowly or for short distances!

Some people think that if they are driving slowly or for only a short distance there is no danger. That's simply not true!

Many accidents happen near home and more than half of all accidents occur in zones of 50 km/h or less.

Useful information

Headrests provide additional protection

In rear-end or head-on collisions, a properly adjusted headrest reduces the risk of whiplash by over 25%.

To be properly protected:

  • the headrest must not be more than 7 cm from the back of your head
  • the horizontal line in the centre of the headrest should be level with your eyes or the top of your ears

In the event of a head-on collision

It is very likely that your knees will be the first thing to touch the seat in front of you, which may cause your body to twist sharply and could lead to a broken spinal cord, among other things.

Useful information

Relationship between blood alcohol concentration and seat belt use

Our data for 2011-2015, as well as statistics from the coroner's office for the same period, show that when the blood alcohol concentration increases, seat belt use decreases:

  • 75.4% of deceased drivers with a blood alcohol concentration between 0 and 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood were wearing their seat belts
  • only 41.4% of deceased drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood were wearing their seat belts

Food for thought!