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Safety at stake: Only 25% vehicle users in India wear seat belt

Even as India has the highest number of road accident deaths in the world, 75% of vehicle users across the country do not wear seat belt.

lucknow Updated: Nov 25, 2017 14:10 IST
Brajendra K Parashar
Brajendra K Parashar
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
India,Safety,Road safety
The alarming figure was revealed during Maruti Suzuki Pvt Ltd’s recent pan-India research on ‘Use of seat belts in India-2017’, conducted by Millward Brown and IMRB (Kantar Group).

Even as India has the highest number of road accident deaths in the world, 75% of vehicle users across the country do not wear seat belt.

The alarming figure was revealed during Maruti Suzuki Pvt Ltd’s recent pan-India research on ‘Use of seat belts in India-2017’, conducted by Millward Brown and IMRB (Kantar Group).

The survey, based on 2,505 respondents across 17 cities, including Meerut and Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, found that only 25% of vehicle users (driver, co-driver and passengers seated on the rear seats) wore seat belt.

Twenty-eight per cent of the respondents said they wore it while driving, while 35% have never worn the safety device.

The shocking figures have come to the fore at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to observe every Wednesday as ‘helmet and seat belt day’ to keep a check on the increasing number of deaths in road accidents.

In 2016, according to the ministry of road transport and highways, out of the 1.5 lakh road accidents deaths, 19,000 were reported from Uttar Pradesh -- the highest in the country. UP also accounted for more than 48% of the total 5,638 deaths where victims were not wearing seat belts.

The state leads in the number of deaths due to non-use of helmet and seat belt even though the number of road mishaps is lesser than states like Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala.

The survey data for co-driver seat occupants further showed that non-usage of seat belt was as high as 70% while 41% claimed that they have never used one.

The usage rate was found to be the worst at 4% for passengers seated on the back seats. Sixty-nine per cent of the respondents claimed that they never use a seat belt on the back seat.

Breaking the data age-wise, the non-usage rate for drivers was the highest in the age group of 46 to 55 years (74%), followed by 26 to 35 years (71%), 36 to 45 years (71%) and 18 to 25 (68%).

First Published: Nov 25, 2017 14:10 IST