Changing Perceptions About Seatbelts Can Save Lives

Automakers have introduced a host of safety features in the last few years – everything from airbags to land-departure warning – yet seatbelts remain one of the best protections available in the event of a crash.

Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 47% were not wearing seatbelts. Taking just a couple of seconds to fasten their seatbelt could have saved 2,549 lives. And using the seatbelts saved an estimated 14,955 lives.

Even though seatbelt use in the United States has reached a record high, many motorists and passengers choose to put their lives in danger by ignoring their seatbelt. This issue has prompted concern among officials in New Zealand, where the percentage of traffic fatalities involving motorists not wearing seatbelts remains stubbornly high.

To draw attention to the issue, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Clemenger BBDO Wellington partnered with VICE and auto accident survivors, to demonstrate how seatbelts can save lives.

The Belt Up, Live On campaign features photos of the young men who were wearing seatbelts during a serious crash and survived their injuries. Wearing professional FX makeup to simulate their crash-related injuries, these survivors are trying to change perceptions that seatbelts are unmanly by depicting their wounds as manly badges of honor. 

James McDonald is one of thousands whose life was saved by wearing a set belt.

Rick Haira is one of thousands whose life was saved by wearing a seatbelt.

Kahutia Foster is one of thousands whose life was saved by wearing a seatbelt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Print ads featuring the grisly images were placed in each survivor’s hometown and at events throughout the country. The campaign’s website also features firsthand accounts of each man’s harrowing experiences and how using a seatbelt gave them the opportunity to live fulfilling lives. 

While seatbelts do not prevent crashes from taking place, they play a major role in reducing the severity of injury to vehicle occupants involved in a collision. The evidence is clear: if you’re not properly wearing your seatbelt, no matter how short the trip, you’re putting your life at risk.

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