The research was revealed in the report: ‘Seat Belts: Time for Action’ which analysed over 1000 records obtained from Police Forensic Collision Investigators, under the FOI Act.

The data showed an apparent increase in unbelted deaths from 25% in 2016 to 31% in 2018, suggesting the number of fatalities could be higher than official figures (26% in 2018), published by the Department for Transport.

Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “The true scale of people needlessly dying on our roads when not belted up could be much greater than we think – which is a real concern. Seat belts are proven to be the most effective way of keeping yourself safe in a crash and urgent action is needed to make sure everyone gets the message that seat belts save lives. We want to see penalty points introduced for non-seat belt wearing and greater investment in enforcement. Ultimately every death on the road is preventable but a death of someone not wearing a seat belt could so easily be avoided.”

Notes to editors:

The full report: ‘Seat Belts: Time for Action’ can be found here.