Not wearing seat belts caused death of 16,397 people in road accidents last year
Road accidents in India last year has thrown up one chilling fact about safety: Not wearing seat belt is one of the biggest reasons behind high number of fatalities across the country. According to the report shared by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) on road accidents in 2021, more than 16,000 people who died in such incidents were found not wearing seat belts. Nearly half of them were backseat passengers.
According to the MoRTH report, a total of 16,397 people lost their lives for not wearing seat belts. The data shows why wearing seat belts on the backseat of a car is equally important. Of those killed for not wearing seat belts, nearly half of them were in the backseats of their cars. The reports says 7,959 people among these victims were passengers in the backseats. The other 8,438 people who died were drivers.
Recently, the seat belt rule has been mandatory for all occupants inside a car. However, it took the death of Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of Tata Motors, before the Centre and police authorities swung into action to launch awareness drive and strictly enforce seat belt rule. Mistry was not wearing seat belt when the car he was travelling in crashed on September 4 in Palghar, Maharashtra. Mistry, along with his friend were seated in the backseat of the Mercedes car, wasn't wearing a seat belt and were probably thrown in front at great velocity when the car crashed into a divider. Both died on the spot.
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The seat belt rule has been a part of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules for a long time. However, people often ignore this road safety measure, especially when sitting in the backseat of a car. Not adhering to this traffic rule attracts a fine of ₹1,000 .