Thirty years of seatbelt safety
The law requiring all drivers to wear their seatbelts came in to force 30 years ago on 31 January 1983.
Car manufacturers have had to install seatbelts since 1965 but the law requiring drivers to wear them did not come in to force for another 18 years. In 1991 the law changed again making it a legal requirement for adults to wear seatbelts in the back of cars.
Soon after the compulsory driver seatbelt use law came into effect in 1983, 90% of car drivers and front-seat passengers were observed to be wearing seat belts. These high rates of seat belt wearing in front-seats of cars have been sustained since that time.
When seatbelt wearing became compulsory for all rear-seat occupants in 1991, there was an immediate increase from 10% to 40% in observed rear-seat belt wearing rates.
The rate has continued to steadily increase, and when this was last measured it had increased to 79%.
Watch a selection of historic THINK! seatbelt campaign adverts on the right of this page.Always wear a seatbelt
In a crash you're twice as likely to die if you don’t wear a seatbelt.
Always wear a seatbelt. In a crash you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t.
Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds.
Wear your seatbelt correctly so it can offer you the best possible protection in a crash.
What happens if you don't belt-up? Experience the effects on screen so you never have to experience them on the road.
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If you have installed Flash Player and are unable to see the game try clicking the refresh key 'F5'.
How to use the Crash Simulator
WATCH: It can't happen to me.
WATCH: Don't do it.
WATCH: The Clunkers.
WATCH: Find out how Julie sustains fatal injuries.
WATCH: Find out how Richard sustains fatal injuries when he crashes without wearing a seatbelt. The car is travelling within the speed limit.
LISTEN: Listen to the THINK! radio advert
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THINK! road safety education resources organised into lesson packs by age and key stage: