Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 18:54 UK

'They don't realise the dangers'

Hundreds of people still die every year on Britain's roads each year because they ignore safety warnings and do not wear seatbelts, says the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. Two people who have been in car crashes tell us why they will always remember their seatbelts:

Lord Robertson
Lord Robertson always carries a picture of the car crash

Lord Robertson, the former defence secretary and head of NATO was badly injured in a car crash in 1976.

I was driving through the Drumochter Pass near Inverness when a Land Rover was blown into the path of my Ford Cortina and we collided head-on.

I spent three weeks in hospital and three months off work.

I lost my right knee cap and damaged my other knee and my jaw. I lived to tell the tale simply because I was wearing a seatbelt.

It's because of this experience that I have become so passionate about road safety. Wearing a seat-belt can reduce the risk of death in a road crash by up to 50%. Yet in many countries seat belt use is still not required or enforced.

Through the Make Roads Safe campaign, we've been calling for a global plan to tackle the unacceptable toll of death and injury on the world's roads.

It was just a seatbelt which saved my life - we cannot allow people to die because such simple measures have not been taken.


Deborah Gibson
Deborah Gibson will always regret undoing her seatbelt

Deborah Gibson was working in Saudi Arabia eight years ago when she was involved in an accident.

I was a passenger in an SUV and I was feeling unwell so I undid my seatbelt and went to sleep across the back seats.

The first thing I remember is the screech of the brakes as we ploughed into a stationary vehicle.

I was thrown across the car and into the back of the front seats.

The pain was awful but everyone else in the car was OK. They'd been wearing seatbelts.

By the time I got to hospital I was in a lot of pain, the doctor did a scan and found that I was bleeding internally.

If I had stayed out on that road I would have bled to death.

I was so lucky - I felt like I had nine lives.

I am still angry with myself for not wearing a seatbelt, it nearly killed me. I wouldn't get in a car for years afterwards.

Now I refuse to get into a car with people who don't wear a seatbelt. If a passenger refuses to buckle up in my car I tell them to get out.

Despite all the warnings I still see children in cars, jumping up and down, totally unrestrained by their parents.

It makes me so cross, they are putting their children's lives at risk.

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