Seat belts are the first line of defense in an accident. Not wearing one makes you 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle, and 75% of evictees die. This data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For your safety and that of others on the road, always buckle up.
Seat Belt Statistics
- The leading cause of death in the US is motor vehicle crashes.
- Seat belts save an estimated 15,000 lives each year in the US.
- Wearing a seat belt as the front seat occupant decreases your risk of fatal injury by 45%.
What a Seat Belt Does For You
Seat belts are designed to help protect passengers in the event of a crash.
There are a few factors that play a role in making this happen:
Prevents Ejection From the Vehicle
If worn properly (the shoulder strap across your body and the lap belt just below your hips), a seat belt will secure you in your seat in the car. In the event of an accident, the sudden change in speed from slamming on the brakes or impact is what sends passengers forward into the dashboard or windshield.
Being strapped in place decreases the likelihood that you’ll be ejected from the vehicle. In turn, staying inside increases your likelihood of survival.
Distributes the Force of the Impact
Your hips and shoulders are among the strongest parts of your body. Wearing a three-strap belt will distribute the impact force of a crash across these areas. This reduces the stress on other parts of your body, including the brain, abdomen, and spine.
Prevents Fines and High Auto Insurance Rates
Wearing a seat belt is required by law. Although it is not as serious of a consequence as death, not abiding by this can result in a traffic ticket and paying a fine. This will be added to your permanent driving record.
If you receive enough tickets, your insurance will consider you a high-risk driver, and raise your rates. Your policy may even be canceled.
Common Misconceptions About Seat Belts
Wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to prevent injury or death in an accident. Despite this fact, about one in ten Americans still do not buckle up when they are in a vehicle.
Here are a few myths that contribute to that statistic:
The other safety features in my car are enough to protect me.
Seat belts work together with air bags and other safety features, so not wearing one will cause those features to not work properly. Without your seat belt, you are at risk of sliding beneath an air bag, hitting the dashboard, or being expelled from the car.
A seat belt will trap me in my vehicle.
Being trapped inside a vehicle usually occurs in rare accidents, such as fire and water-related. Seat belts increase the chances of surviving a crash because they help keep passengers from being knocked unconscious.
Seat belts are only needed for longer trips.
Accidents do not occur exclusively on the highway. Many traffic-related accidents actually take place within 25 miles of your home. Putting on a seat belt takes less than five seconds to do, so it is not worth the consequences.
Your Local Personal Injury Lawyers in Tucson
If you are injured in a motorcycle, bicycle, or automobile accident, Grabb & Durando is here to help. Our team of experienced lawyers can answer any questions you may have.