Some people seem intent on not fastening their seat belt while driving. You would think significantly increased risk of injury and death would be enough to pursued people to buckle up, especially when doing so only takes a few seconds.

Yet this is apparently too much hassle for some people in China, where a T-shirt designed to make it look like the wearer is wearing a seat belt has been selling faster than a driver throw out the front window shield during a head-on collision.

According to Record China, the T-shirt caught the eyes of the Chinese police on August 17 after an advertisement labeling the product as “a must-have for drivers” began making the rounds on Chinese Twitter-like service SINA Weibo.

Judging from comments on microblogs discussing the product like “this is useful!” and “I wish I would have known about this earlier!”, the T-shirt is has been well-recieved Chinese shoppers.

Several local Chinese governmental public safety offices have issued formal statements in response to the unsettling popularity of the T-shirt.

The Jinan Public Safety commission writes: “Failing to wear a seatbelt increases risk of fatality during traffic accidents five-fold. You have only one life. You must not treat it lightly.”

The Haikou municipal police departmental updated their blog with a similar statement: “Those involved in traffic accidents who wear a seat belt are twice as more likely to survive than those who don’t. The risk of injury is also lowered by half.”

It may seem like they’re stating the obvious, but according to sources, 90% of Chinese drivers are unaware of the necessity of wearing a seat belt and have therefore failed to develop a habit of doing so. As a result, failure to wear a seat belt has become the 3rd leading cause of fatalities in traffic accidents in China after speeding and drunk driving—which would also undoubtedly be mitigated if more people wore their seat belts.

That’s not to say China lacks proper traffic safety legislation—drivers and front passengers have been legally required to wear a seat belt since 1993—it’s just that most people either don’t know or don’t care. But with statistics showing a constant rise in traffic-related deaths, the Chinese government has finally began to put the spotlight on traffic safety over the past two years.

Still, seeing the enthusiasm over this seat belt T-shirt, it may be some time before Chinese drivers are convinced on the merits of buckling up.

Source: Yahoo! Japan

▼ The design in question