the paper presents a summary of information on the protection afforded by seat belts, and on the effectiveness of legislation in persuading people to wear the seat belts fitted to their cars. summaries are given on 8 selected european and american papers on seat belts in accidents. the estimated reductions in serious injuries varied from 45 per cent to 70 per cent, and reasons are suggested for the occurrence of these differences. the most serious injuries, particularly to the head, were probably reduced more than the less serious ones, and ejection was almost eliminated. australian experience in the state of victoria leads to the conclusion that seat belts reduce deaths of car occupants by at least 40 per cent. after the introduction of legislation in australia and new zealand the percentages of car occupants wearing belts rose eventually to 80 or 90 per cent even in towns. if legislation were to have the same effect on wearing rates in great britain, the expected decrease in deaths and serious injuries, on the basis of the 1976 casualty figures would be about 630 deaths and 12900 serious injuries per annum.(a)

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