The records of all 373 patients undergoing surgery for perforation of an eye at the 10 eye units in the Wessex Regional Health authority (except the Isle of Wight) during February 1980 to January 1984 were examined. There were 86 admissions as a result of road traffic accidents (RTAs), and 287 admissions arising from other accidents. The estimated annual incidence of perforating eye injuries as a result of RTAs has decreased by 73% following legislation for the compulsory wearing of seatbelts by drivers and front seat passengers. There is no evidence that this abrupt fall in the incidence of injury can be satisfactorily attributed to any other factor.
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