Why is seatbelt wearing necessary?
Car occupants form 64% of all road casualties. In 2010, 133,205 people were killed or injured while travelling in cars, of these 89,787 (67%) were drivers. Car accidents have become the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that 63 percent of deaths annually on American roads and highways are due to not using seat belts.
Seat belts are designed to retain people in their seats, and so prevent or reduce injuries suffered in a crash. They ensure that as little contact is made between the occupant and vehicle interior as possible and significantly reduce the risk of being thrown from a vehicle.
Let’s see how the seat safety belt works when an accident happens. We all know that a seatbelt keeps a person from flying through the windshield or being thrown into the dashboard when a vehicle comes to a sudden stop. When your car hits something, it stops in the first tenth of a second, but you keep on at the same rate you were going in the car until something stops- the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield – if you’re not wearing your safety belt. If you are wearing one and wear it right, a locking mechanism in the seat belt is triggered and prevents it from extending, while holding you firmly in place.
According to a research report from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, seatbelts save approximately 13,000 lives in the United States each year. Furthermore, the NHTSA estimates that 7,000 U.S. car accident fatalities would have been avoided if the victims had been wearing belts.
Statistics have sufficiently explained the importance of car seat belts. Combined with law enforcement, why are car accident casualties caused by not wearing seat belts still happening?
Some people argue that they only drive a short and casual distance like going to shopping center. But actually, 80% of traffic fatalities occur within 25 miles of home and less than 40 miles an hour. Some people who believe in their driving ability obviously do not think of the case of being hit by bad drivers. Some say they will brace themselves, the question is even if you have the split-second timing to do this, the force of the impact would shatter the arm or leg you used to brace yourself. Some are afraid that seat belts would trap them in the cars. However, it is better for you to stay conscious in car than either be thrown out or be knocked out. Some explain that wearing a seat belt is uncomfortable. In fact, modern safety belts have been designed with attention to users’ comforts. Most of them give when you move – a device locks them in place only when the car stops suddenly. Others come with comfort clips, which hold the belt in a slightly slackened position. If the belt won’t fit around you, you can get a belt extender at most car dealerships. Others say they don’t need seat belts because they already have airbags. It is true that airbags are very effective to prevent injuries during accidents. But airbags are never meant to replace safety belts, since they don’t protect against side impacts at all.
With the added comfort and safety a seat belt offers, you don’t have any reason to put off wearing one. So, make sure you buckle up every time you get behind the steering wheel.