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J R Soc Med. 1984 Mar;77(3):198-200.

Incidence of ocular injuries from road traffic accidents after introduction of seat belt legislation.


A prospective study was performed to characterize any change in the pattern of ocular injuries following the introduction of compulsory front seat belt wear on 1 February 1983. During a 24-week period in 1981 (1 February to 31 July), 24 patients with eye and adnexal injuries as a result of motor car road traffic accidents (RTAs) were seen at the Bristol Eye Hospital: 12 of these patients required emergency surgery. In the identical period two years later (1 February to 31 July 1983), only 6 patients suffered ocular injury from RTAs: 3 of these required emergency surgery. All patients in the latter series obeying the legislation on seat belt use were injured by flying glass, indicating a possible change in pattern of injury. The decrease in incidence of ocular injuries from RTAs between the two series was shown to be statistically significant. The compulsory fitting of laminated glass to all new cars in Great Britain and Europe is strongly advised.

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