The Effects of Seat Belt Legislation on Road Casualties

  • Published: Published: In Compulsory Seatbelt Wearing Report, Department of Transport, 1985
  • Authors: J Durbin and AC Harvey
  • Date Added: 01 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 01 Feb 2013


To assess the statistical evidence of the effects of the introduction of the seat belt law on road casualties inGreat Britain.


Time series analysis using monthly casualty figures dating from January 1969 to December 1984.

Key Findings:

  • The authors found a 20% to 26% reduction in the number of drivers killed or seriously injured.

  • The number of driver deaths fell by 18%.There was a 2.9% rise in the number of rear seat occupants who were killed or seriously injured, however this was not statistically significant.

  • The authors estimated that the seat belt law saved the lives of 241 drivers in 1983 and 270 in 1984.

  • Similar estimates were made for front seat passengers, where an estimated 147 lives were saved in 1983 and 181 in 1984.

  • There was a 4.8% increase in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured following the introduction of the law; however, this was not statistically significant.

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