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We have been talking about summer dos and don’ts, but to be clear, these rules do not only apply in summer, but they also apply all year. The reason we are highlighting the season is because we always see an increase in these types of behaviours, and an increase in the subsequent fines, at this time of year.

The offence of failing to maintain the proper position in the vehicle comes with an 80 euro fine, at any time of year. This can refer to passengers with their feet on the dashboard, drivers with their arms out the window, or any other situation where proper posture is not maintained.

There are many reasons why this rule is important. For example, in the event of impact, the injuries sustained by a person with their feet on the dashboard are nothing less than horrific, as you have hopefully seen in the first of this series and will now think twice before doing it. The same goes for instances where limbs have been lost or severely injured on account of them protruding from the vehicle. Plus, the seats in a vehicle are designed to give maximum protection, and comfort, and not being correctly positions poses a risk, and can hinder visibility by the driver.

The correct wearing of the seat belt is also crucial. Not wearing it over your shoulder and across the torso as it is designed for is the same as not wearing it at all. That is why the fine for wearing a seat belt incorrectly is 200€, the same as if you weren´t wearing it at all.

Seat belts are designed for one purpose only, to save lives. Statistics show that by wearing a seat belt the probability of death when involved in a collision is halved, whereas according to the data from the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) and the Instituto Universitario de Tráfico y Seguridad Vial (INTRAS), the risk of death is cut by a staggering 77% in an overturned vehicle.

However, in order for the seat belt to be effective, it must be worn correctly, in order for it to fulfil the function it is designed for fully.

The correct way to wear the seat belt is for it to go across the torso diagonally, and across the waist, firmly secured in these positions. The top part must be on the hard part of the collarbone, halfway between the shoulder and the neck. The lower end sits against the hardness of the pelvis.

Remember, the seat belt must be snug against the body. Do not pull it away or put it under your arm, as it will not be effective. You not only must wear a seat belt at all times, you must also wear it correctly.

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