NZ Transport Agency

10+ Car Crash Survivors Pose For Shocking Seatbelt Safety Awareness Project

Every year, hundreds of people lose their lives to car accidents — and in New Zealand, approximately 90 of those people could've survived if they'd been wearing a seat belt.

On August 13th, 1959, automobiles were officially fitted for seatbelts for the first time in history.


Sweden's Volvo led this initiative, and the world soon followed suit, leading not only to have the option, but also pushing for legislation that would make seatbelt use a mandatory thing.

The seatbelt is considered one of the most effective public health interventions of our time, and has saved upwards of a million lives.

Unsplash | Alejo Reinoso

According to WHO, wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of vehicular fatality by 40-50% for front seat passengers, and up to 75% for back seat passengers!

The New Zealand Transport Agency took these stats and transformed them into a powerful campaign for seatbelt safety awareness.

Unsplash | rawpixel

Each photograph features a victim of a motor vehicle accident, and tells their story of violence and survival. The photographs were made possible by PROFX, a company that specializes in SFX make-up.

Kahutia Foster

NZ Transport Agency

"Yeah I remember the car crash, man. I remember um... Everything was kind of all upside down. The car was pretty much just wrecked. Yeah, there's 86, 400 seconds in a day, man. And sh** I nearly lost all of them."

Liam Bethell

NZ Transport Agency

"I was T-boned by a truck on my left-hand side, 200 meters from my house. I broke my back in three places — all my ribs on my left hand side, five of them on my right hand side. I spent 10 days in a coma."

Dan Mason

NZ Transport Agency

"I basically woke up, um, from an induced coma with all my limbs broken. I'd had brain injury, my internal organs had been damaged. Had I not been wearing a seatbelt I would've gone through the windscreen."

Rick Haira

NZ Transport Agency

"I can remember the sound of the window smashing, the metal crunching. the seatbelt was the first thing I undone, and it was then I realized it pretty much saved my life."

Dylan Chirnside

NZ Transport Agency

"I remember waking up with sort of that movie moment. Where someone says to you, you know, 'hey, you've been in a car accident.' I didn't really understand the fact that I was seriously injured. Something like wearing your seatbelt stopped me from going through the windscreen."

James Liberona-Feek

NZ Transport Agency

"I went straight into the oncoming car at 100k head-on. Looking at it, I should've been more messed up than what I was. Honestly really a miracle that I'm alive. The seatbelt is the reason."

Will Giles

NZ Transport Agency

"I had to learn how to walk and talk again. My brain had a reaction to being hit. My seatbelt was the only thing protecting me — I'm still here."

Will recently shared more thoughts on the project and situation through his instagram.

Instagram | @willgilesnz

"I know for a fact that my brain injury would’ve been a whole lot worse if I wasn’t buckled up. Do the most simple task it might save your life like it saved mine."

Willy Careberry

NZ Transport Agency

"I was speechless when I got through, once I'd seen the photos of it. The main reason I survived was, you know, a seatbelt."

James McDonald

NZ Transport Agency

"It was when I was lying in the hospital, the day after a plate and six screws were put into my left arm, after my nose had been stitched back together. How big it really was, and what had really happened. And that I was alive."

Dion Perry

NZ Transport Agency

"If I wasn't wearing my seatbelt I could've got way more messed up. Way more messed up. Yeah. I am still here to tell the story."

You can watch the interview clips here.