A seat belt can save a life. More than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seat belts when they were involved in accidents. Seat belts provide 5-way protection:
Keeps the occupants of the vehicle inside. People who are thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.
Restrains the strongest parts of the body. Restraints are designed to contact your body at its strongest parts, which are the hips and shoulders.
Spreads out any force from the collision. Lap and shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body. The shoulder strap helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the car.
Helps the body to slow down. A quick change in speed causes injury. Seat belts help extend the time it takes for you to slow down in a crash.
Protects the brain and spinal cord. A seat belt is designed to protect two of the most critical areas: the brain, and the spinal cord. Head injuries are often hard to see immediately, but they are deadly.
Many people think that seat belts do not help, or even make things worse. They think that seat belts will lead to worse injuries, and believe that the airbag is safer. More than 50% of people who died in car accidents were unrestrained. It has been proven that wearing a seat belt reduces the rate of serious injuries by 50%. People not wearing a seat belt in their vehicle are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the car, and 75% of people who were ejected, died from their injuries.
Despite all the statistics, some people still refuse to buckle up. “I’m not driving very far”. Maybe that seems like a logical reason in your head, but three out of four crashes (75%) occur within 25 miles of your home. “It hurts”. Maybe you find a seatbelt uncomfortable, but many things that are good for you are not fun! Some people don’t like to exercise, others don’t like to eat healthy, and some refuse to wear a seatbelt! A little discomfort is a much better alternative than being thrown through your windshield! “I’m riding in the backseat”. You can still be thrown from the vehicle when riding in the back seat. And not to mention, you pose more of a threat to the people around you in the car!
According to a study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about one in four adults admit they don’t wear seatbelts when riding in the back seat. Most people incorrectly believe that riding in the back seat is safer than the front. Drivers are twice as likely to be fatally injured when passengers are riding unbuckled in the back. If they are not wearing a seatbelt, they come flying forward.