The hospital experience of seat belt legislation in the county of Skaraborg, Sweden
Review articleOpen access

AbstractThe effect of legislation for the compulsory wearing of seat belts by car drivers and front seat passengers was prospectively analysed in the county of Skaraborg, Sweden. After legislation fewer vehicle occupants were admitted to the hospitals, despite a 40 per cent increase in crashes reported to insurance companies in the country. The frequency of seat belt wearing among injured victims was considerably lower than that recorded in regular traffic surveys. Significantly fewer head and neck injuries were suffered by restrained drivers than by unrestrained. Restrained front seat passengers had more thoracic injuries than unrestrained, but the degree of severity was less. The frequency of seat belt wearing by rear seat passengers was low, but they were injured as severely as front seat occupants. It seems important to insist on an increase in seat belt wearing for this category.

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