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Road Safety Campaign Warns - Don’t “Get This Season’s Killer Look”

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) has today 20th February 2017 launched a new digital road safety campaign focusing on the misuse of seatbelts by women. The campaign entitled “Get This Season’s Killer Look”, is aimed at discouraging women from wearing their seatbelts under their arm, which can cause horrific injuries in the event of a collision.

study of 300 women aged 17 to 34, undertaken in 2016 by Behaviour & Attitudes, on behalf of the RSA found that:

  • 28% admitted to misusing a seatbelt by wearing it under the arm, rising to 35% among younger women.
  • 53% of those interviewed said that their friends wore the seatbelt under the arm
  • The main reasons cited for wearing the seatbelt under the arm were to relieve neck tension (49%) and for general comfort (47%).  
  •  9% said it was to protect their tan, or 7% to protect clothing.
  • While seatbelt compliance is consistently very strong among young females, it is not universal: e.g. 23% do not always wear a seat belt as a rear passenger. 

Commenting on the new campaign Ms. Moyagh Murdock, Chief Executive, RSA, said “How you wear your seat belt is as important as whether you wear your seat belt or not. Worryingly, whether for comfort or vanity, many women choose to wear their seatbelts under the arm, instead of over the shoulder, which exposes them to terrible injuries and even death in the event of a crash. Placing the shoulder strap of the seatbelt under their arm leaves your upper torso — including your neck, face and head — completely unrestrained during a collision.”

“My message to anyone who wears their seatbelt under their arm is simple – wear your seatbelt correctly. The belt should be worn diagonally across the wearer’s chest on their shoulder and never under the arm. If it feels uncomfortable, adjust the height of the belt on the anchor point on the door frame or adjust the seat position and height. Most importantly of all avoid getting “This Season’s Killer Look” because you didn’t wear your seatbelt properly.”

The campaign will feature primarily on online in a bid to reach young women where they spend the majority of their free time. It will be fronted by a 30 second ad that will be deployed on ‘Video On Demand’ (VOD) platforms. The “This Season’s Killer Look” Public Service Advert is centred on a young model, posing for a fashion shoot in a glamorous car. As the shoot progresses, the model puts on her seatbelt and places the belt under her arm. Suddenly, the model is thrown violently forward and the scene switches to an eerie x-ray world where we see clearly the devastating injuries sustained in a collision. When we switch back to reality, we see the model is wearing a neck and body brace and has scaring on her face. Lifelong injuries now replace her glamorous look. The campaign slogan invites viewers not to get - ‘This Season’s Killer Look’ – by never wearing a seatbelt under the arm.

The RSA sought the input of Gerry Lane, Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Letterkenny General Hospital, Donegal in developing the campaign.

The campaign will also be promoted on the RSA social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram with the campaign’s official hashtag #KillerLook.


Editors Notes

‘Misuse of Seatbelts Among Females’, Online Survey of 300 women between the age of 17 and 34 years, Conducted by Behaviour and Attitudes, April 2016.

Injuries to body following improper seatbelt use.

Head: Collision with windscreen can result in severe facial scarring, and in some cases blindness. Brain injury, neck spinal injury.

Mouth: Impact with the steering column or dashboard of a vehicle can cause severe damage to teeth, leading to victims needing extensive dental repair. May knock teeth down throat, shatter jaw, block airway.

Neck:  Being thrown violently forward in a collision can cause serious injury to the neck and head, and may require surgical repair. May result in paralysis and/or partial or total paralysis.

Torso: Spinal damage caused by impact requires the wearing of a full-body cast (not always, only in "minor cases"), and may result in partial or total paralysis, life changing injuries.

Abdomen: Internal lacerations caused by improper seatbelt use can require extensive surgical repair, and may involve the victim requiring a colostomy bag for life. 



Arm: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins. 



Leg: Extreme fractures may need to be surgically repaired with metal rods and pins.



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