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Tuesday 21 November 2017
Letters to the Editor

Passengers in back seat can survive crash

THE EDITOR: The picture on page 5, Section A, of the October 7 Newsday is very tragic. Three young lives snuffed out in a brief moment of time.

The way the Toyota Corolla was deformed in the impact suggests it might have been possible for a back-seat passenger to survive the impact if strapped in with the seat belt (he may have been, I do not know).

We often do not bother to “strap in” at the back seat, but in a severe frontal impact, the body of a back-seat passenger becomes a projectile that is a danger to himself/herself as well as to the passenger in the seat in front of them.

A large heavy object like a loaded suitcase in the back seat can also become an instrument of death or serious injury, if not securely strapped.

Some countries have traffic studies which show that after the use of seat belts by back-seat passengers was made law, there was a marked reduction of fatalities in severe front-impact accidents.

The recent death of an unbelted mother on the Priority Bus Route is another case in point.

Drivers and their passengers need not wait for laws to be passed to take all practicable, commonsense, and available precautions to increase their chances of surviving accidents such as these.

Who knows, one or more of those three precious lives lost may have been saved.

May God give the necessary comfort and strength to all those who mourn at this time.

ROBIN OSBORNE, former UWI civil engineering lecturer

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