The simple act of wearing a seat belt is one of the most effective ways to reduce the fatality risk in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts reduce the likelihood of fatalities in a car crash by about half. So why is it that every day, millions of citizens forgo fastening their seat belts? This article will debunk common misconceptions about seat belts.
Seat belts restrict your movements and are uncomfortable
If your seat belt is adjusted properly, it should not cause any discomfort or restrict your movement. Seat belts have vastly improved over the decades in terms of comfort when they became a mandatory feature in 1960. Advancements such as pretensioners and polyester help eliminate slack in the event of a crash. Along with other various upgrades, these features have made seat belts more comfortable, less restrictive, and overall, safer.
Seat belts can trap you in your vehicle in the event of a crash
This myth often stems from water- and fire-related accidents, which only accounts for less than one-half of all car accidents. Furthermore, seat belts have the potential to keep you from being knocked unconscious, which increases the chance of you escaping a wreck. It is much better to be held in one place in a crash than to be potentially flung through your windshield.
I'm only going a short distance:
Even routine low-key trips can be deceptively dangerous. Most traffic-related deaths happen within a 25-mile radius of your home. Add to the fact that the crashes happen at 40 mph or less. Even for those short trips, buckle up.
I don't have enough time to put my seat belt on
The average time it takes to put your seatbelt on takes three seconds or less. That's less time it takes to tie your shoe or order your favorite Starbucks coffee. Even if you're buckling up 20 times a day, that would only add up to one minute.
I have airbags, so I don't need to wear my seat belt
Fun fact, airbags were designed to protect the buckled passenger, not the unbuckled one. You benefit from the protection of an airbag when you are properly secured in place by your seat belt. You run multiple risks when you solely depend on your airbags without a seatbelt. These risks include sliding under your airbag on impact, colliding with your dashboard or possibly being ejected from your seat. Your airbag is meant to work in conjunction with your seat belt in order to give you the best protection.
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