A close look at seat belt-related road deaths on Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-patrolled roads in recent years suggest that males place far less importance on wearing a seat belt than females do.
Over the past five years (2011-2015), a total of 332 people have died in collisions on OPP-patrolled roads as a result of not wearing a seat belt. According to OPP data, 261 of the victims were males and 71 were females.
As the OPP prepares for their Spring Seat Belt Campaign over the Easter Long Weekend, they are sharing some insight into seat belt attitudes and why they believe there have been almost four times as many male seat belt-related deaths as female deaths in the same causal factor category.
“Our data suggests a strong presence of male drivers and male passengers who believe that they are at a lower risk of being involved in a collision than other people, and who do not see a need to wear a seat belt. This attitude works against our efforts to save lives on our roads.” said, J.V.N. (Vince) Hawkes, Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner.
“Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep them that way. Everyone knows that seat belts save lives so buckle up – it only takes a moment but can make all the difference. Do your part to help the dedicated OPP officers keep our roads safe for everyone this weekend and throughout the year.”
said, Yasir Naqvi, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services
All drivers and passengers need to acknowledge the fact that if they do not buckle up, they are at a significantly greater risk of dying in a collision that can be caused by the irresponsible actions of a distracted, impaired or aggressive driver.
OPP data also revealed that over the past five years (2011-2015), more than three times as many unbuckled drivers (252) died in collisions as unbuckled passengers (80). This statistic is also of concern to the OPP.
Paying it forward from the driver’s seat
When it comes to seat belt use, the OPP looks to drivers in particular to set a good
example for their passengers – especially children, young drivers and young passengers whose decision to wear a seat belt over the course of their lives may be significantly influenced by the attitudes of their parents, other family members and friends. Passengers of all ages are more likely to buckle up when they see the driver do it.
The death of one unrestrained child is one too many!
While the number of seat belt-related deaths among children under 16 years of age remains the lowest of all other age groups, it is unacceptable to the OPP when even one child dies as a result of this causal factor.
Between 2011and 2015, nine children have died because they were not properly restrained in the vehicle. Parents and child caregivers need to ensure that children are always safely buckled in a child restraint appropriate to their age and size.
Whether it is a car seat for infants or toddlers, or a booster seat, make sure it is the right seat.
Over the Easter Long Weekend, the OPP are counting on all drivers to help make it a safe weekend for everyone travelling on Ontario roads. Besides lack of occupant restraint, OPP officers will be conducting enforcement and education activity associated with other negative road user behaviours, which include aggressive driving, driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol and driving while distracted.
DID YOU KNOW?
- When involved in a serious motor vehicle collision, getting ejected from a vehicle almost always ends in death.
- Encouraging family and friends to wear a seat belt can have a significant positive influence on their decision to wear a seat belt. Start talking about it!
- Air bags are designed to work with, not replace seat belts.