Victoria, British Columbia – A new study by the BC Coroners Service shows that a high proportion of people killed in motor vehicle crashes in the province were not wearing seatbelts.

Although numerous studies by the RCMP and Transport Canada show that at least 90 per cent of British Columbians wear their seatbelts, the Coroners Service study showed that fewer than 60 per cent of those who died were wearing them at the time they crashed.

Some crashes are so devastating that no amount of safety equipment can save the occupants, and some who died were wearing seatbelts. However, seatbelt use would almost certainly have saved many in others, such as when people were thrown through windshields, thrown around inside a vehicle, or ejected from a vehicle.

Of the 85 deaths in motor vehicle brakes in 2010 in the Interior Region of B.C., only 47 per cent were wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash, 41 per cent were definitely not, and seatbelt usage was unknown in 12 per cent. (Crashes involving motorcycles, cyclists or pedestrians were not included.)

  Of those, 62 per cent were drivers, and 35 per cent were passengers. In two per cent of cases, it could not be determined definitively who had been the driver in the crash.

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