As many as 22% of motorists fail to wear seatbelts all the time, a survey today shows.

And around the same number do not put them on when they are travelling as passengers, the poll by insurance company esure found.

Based on responses from 1,372 motorists, the survey also showed that 5% have gone on entire journeys without buckling up.

Also, one in six does not wear a belt on short trips, while 10% of passengers have to be prompted to wear them by the driver.

Three in five of those driving vehicles for work confessed to seatbelt offences, while, overall, motorists aged 18 to 34 were most likely to offend and those over 65 the least likely to do so.

The poll also found that 85% of women always wore belts compared with only 73% of men.

Scots are the most law-abiding - with only 29% confessing to seatbelt offences.

Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure car insurance, said: "A seatbelt can be the last line of defence for motorists in a serious crash and this research shows that far too many people are still taking unnecessary risks.

"Whether they occur 100 metres or 100 miles away from home, accidents by definition will happen when you least expect.

"The fact that motorists are putting their lives at risk by failing to buckle up at all times is simply staggering, but also illegal."

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