Buckling up could have prevented up to 50 road deaths last year, says coroner

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NZN

A coroner's report into the death of a Canterbury farmer has highlighted how many Kiwis are failing to buckle up, with up to 50 preventable deaths occurring last year.

Source: 1 NEWS

Trevor Washbourne died in May 2016 after losing control around a bend in Burnham and being thrown from his car.

It was possible he would have survived if he was wearing a seatbelt as there was very little damage to the driver's side of the vehicle, Coroner Elliott said in the report released today.

"The reason why Mr Washbourne failed to turn through the bend is unknown but it may have been momentary inattention, distraction or lapse of concentration," he said.

"Unfortunately, despite the well-publicised safety benefits of wearing a seatbelt, it appears that some people do not do so. As a result, preventable deaths are occurring."

He pointed to information from the Automobile Association showing 42 per cent of people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2016 were not wearing a seatbelt.

Wearing a seatbelt could have resulted in as many as 50 lives being saved last year, while more people died in 2015 from not wearing a seatbelt than from crashes involving a drunk driver, the Association says.

"If we could get every single driver and passenger to make it click every single time they drove, our road toll would drop overnight."

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