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Warning on seatbelt effectiveness

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A new survey has found that motorists are putting their safety at risk by sitting in the wrong position for their car seatbelt to be effective.

According to the British Osteopathic Association (BOA), 13% of drivers sit too far from the steering wheel, and are in danger of "submarining" - where the user slips under the belt in a head-on crash.

Avoiding serious injuries by the proper use of seat belts can have a positive impact on car insurance premiums.

Advising motorists on how exactly to use a seat belt, the BOA said it should be sitting over the bones of the pelvis and not the stomach and in contact with the shoulder.

The survey, published to coincide with the start of Back Care Awareness Week, found that only 6% regularly adjust the head restraint while more than a half never do so, increasing the risk of whiplash injuries.

As many as 14% of the 1,435 UK adults polled admit to sitting too close to the steering wheel, risking a serious chest injury from the airbag in a crash.

© Press Association 2010