Drivers do not sit 'correctly'

A significant number of motorists do not sit in the correct position to avoid serious injuries during a direct collision, according to a study.

A survey by theBritish Osteopathic Association (BOA) has shown that 13% of motorists sit way behind the wheel, risking the chance of "submarining" - where one slips from under a safety belt in a collision - increasing the dangers of internal injuries.

According to the BOA, seat belts need to hold the occupant over the pelvic bone and not the stomach, also touching the shoulder so that neck injuries can be avoided.

The survey of 1,435 adults in the UK, published to draw attention to the Back Care Awareness Week, revealed that only 6% of drivers check that they are seated in proximity to the head restraint so that they can avert whiplash accidents. More than half (51%) do not do it at all.

As many as 18% of people use a car for a minimum of six hours in a week, but many are still unaware of proper positioning, with as many as 14% of motorists sitting a bit too close to their steering wheels. This could make them suffer from chest injuries if the airbag pops out during a crash.

Danny Williams, council member, BOA, said: "While most of us are aware that seatbelts save lives, it's fair to say that the majority of us don't know that the way we sit in a vehicle also plays a huge part in our safety and wellbeing.

"The position of the head restraint, how far or close we sit to the steering wheel and how long we spend sitting at the wheel without having a break can cause long-lasting neck and back injuries."

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