Many Queenslanders are still failing to buckle up in the car, putting themselves at risk in the event of an accident. Picture: Supplied
Many Queenslanders are still failing to buckle up in the car, putting themselves at risk in the event of an accident. Picture: Supplied

Breaking this simple rule is killing us

SHOCKING new data has revealed one in four people killed on Queensland's roads in the past five years weren't wearing a seatbelt.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has today released figures on the use of seatbelts in Queensland and found five per cent of all motorists still aren't wearing a seatbelt when they drive.

The Seatbelt Survey Statistics also found during the period of January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2017, 155 people who died in road crashes were unrestrained - making up 26 per cent of all fatalities.

During that same period, more than 65,000 seatbelt infringements were recorded, at an average of more than 13,000 a year.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said he was shocked to hear of the number of Queenslanders who choose not to wear a seatbelt.

"It almost beggars belief that, decades after the seatbelt safety message was first promoted far and wide around Australia, people still fail or forget to make the simple, life-saving choice to buckle up," Mr Bailey said.

Many Queenslanders are still failing to buckle up in the car, putting themselves at risk in the event of an accident. Picture: Supplied
Many Queenslanders are still failing to buckle up in the car, putting themselves at risk in the event of an accident. Picture: Supplied

"In the event of a crash, wearing your seatbelt reduces your risk of fatal or serious injury by 50 per cent.

"About 92 percent of people on Queensland roads wear seatbelts but it's the remaining eight per cent who are putting themselves at significant risk.

"While the problem is Queensland wide, it is more prevalent in regional Queensland, especially in Mt Isa, South West, Far North, Townsville, Capricornia and Mackay Police Districts."

The transport department said more than two-thirds of unrestrained people who were hospitalised or died in a road crash were aged 39 or younger.

Males were more likely to not wear a seatbelt (67 per cent male compared to 33 per cent female), and the driver involved in a serious crash was more likely to not be wearing a seatbelt (58 per cent were drivers compared to 42 per cent passengers).

A forum will be held in Townsville this week - called 'Seatbelts: How do we make it click?' - to bring together community leaders, road safety experts and other stakeholders to generate ideas on how to encourage more people to buckle up, more often.