Seat Belt Safety Factors
Seat Belt Safety Affects Everyone
This video from the Institute of Highway Safety shows the difference in impact when a person wears a seat belt and when they don't. The impact to the head, chest and neck is obvious. Seat belt safety is an issue that affects all of us. We all share the roads and highways and at anytime we or a loved one could be a victim of a car accident.
The saying "click it or ticket" is pressed upon us for a reason. The leading cause of death in people under age 35 is car accidents. 40,000 people die each year in car accidents: This number could be reduced by almost half if seat belts were worn by everyone who traveled in an automobile. If you are aware of these statistics on seat belt safety and are still not willing to wear one every time you are in an automobile, ask yourself:
- Why am I not wearing my life saving device?
- How do I benefit by not wearing my life saving device?
- What might it cost my family and I if I don't wear my life saving device?
Seat belts, when manufactured and used properly, SAVE LIVES
Consider the factors involved in an automobile collision, either with another vehicle or an immobile object:
In a collision a car stops in the first tenth of a second, but occupants' bodies keep moving at the same rate the automobile was traveling until something stops the occupant's body.
If you are not wearing your safety belt at the time of a collision, your body will impact with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield or seat-back at that same rate of speed as the vehicle was traveling prior to the collision. If you were not wearing your seat belt in a collision at 30 miles per hour, your body would impact with the same intensity as if you fell from the top of a three-story building.
As you can imagine, it would be difficult to escape such a collision without severe injury. A properly worn seat belt keeps the second collision - the collision of your body with the interior of the car - from happening. This assumes of course, that your body is not ejected from the car.
What is "Worn Properly"?
"Worn Properly" can mean the difference between life and death, quite literally. Seat belts are designed to absorb the impact of the collision and transfer that impact from your body. "Worn Properly" means both straps snugly fitted to the body *shoulder strap across the chest area and lap belt securely fastened across your hips* to avoid injury and provide safety.
Is There a "Good Reason" Not to Wear a Seat Belt?
"I'm a good driver." Even if you have a perfect driving record and have never been involved in a traffic collision, it is not a sound reason to avoid wearing your seat belt to insure safety.
Being a good driver can be a determining factor in your ability to avoid accidents, but there are many other drivers on the road who are not as careful. Poor drivers can cause accidents with even the best of drivers. In most automobile vs. automobile accidents, there is a "good" driver who is "not at fault".
"I'm just going to the grocery store." Nearly 80% of all FATAL traffic accidents occur within 25 miles of the victims' residence and at speeds of under 40 mph. So when you are "just going to the grocery store", is the best time to wear a safety belt.
"My car has airbags, so I don't need to wear my seat belt." Airbags are not meant to take the place of seat belts, they were meant to enhance their safety. An air bag increases the effectiveness of a seat belt by up to 40 percent. Airbags are an ADDED safety feature and unless you car has side airbags as well as front airbags, they don't protect against side impacts at all.
"They're uncomfortable." There are many ways to make your seat belt more comfortable. At the local dealer or auto parts store you can find clips and extenders to customize the fit of your seat belt. You can also buy adapters for children to make sure their seat belts fit properly for maximum protection. Seat belts are much more comfortable than hospital beds.
Let's face it, there is no such thing as a "good reason" not to wear a seat belt while traveling in your vehicle, either to the corner store or across the country. Seat belts save thousands of lives each year and reduce the severity of injuries.
If you've been involved in an auto accident that was caused by a seat belt or defective safety belt issue, call our experienced auto defect attorneys for a free consultation or fill out our free case review request form. Call 1-800-561-4887.