The Importance of Wearing a Seatbelt
We have all heard the excuses before, "It's uncomfortable, I'm only going around the corner", I'd rather be thrown out of a car than be stuck in a seatbelt," and my favorite, "I'm a good driver I don't need to wear one." Well you may be a good driver but there are situations beyond your control such as bad weather, road conditions and not to mention other drivers that can affect your safety. Seat belts can mean the difference between life and death in an auto accident. Wearing a seat belt every time you enter a vehicle is not only the smart thing to do it is the right thing because it saves lives, it's the law and it will save you money.
Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35. Wearing a seat belt can prevent death in about half of these accidents. Did you know that every 15 seconds someone is injured in an automobile accident if they are not buckled up, or that every 13 minutes someone is killed in a crash. Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety related behavior. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration seatbelts saved nearly 12,000 lives in the United States in the year 2000. The NHTSA estimates that more than 9,000 U.S. car accident fatalities in 2000 would have been avoided if the victims had been wearing seatbelts. Sixty three percent of the people killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts. The NHTSA also stated that seatbelts reduce the risk of death for a front seat car occupant by about forty five percent. For the people who use the excuse that "They are just going around the corner" should realize that 80% of traffic fatalities occur within a 25-mile radius of your home and at a speed of 40 miles an hour. Buckling up to drive around the block is probably the best time to do so. Everyone knows that car crashes can cause death; yet because people do not buckle up all the time thousands of people still die in traffic crashes yearly. Seatbelts can save your life in a crash and can reduce your risk of a serious injury. Seat belts keep drivers and passengers from being ejected through windows or doors. This is important because your chances of being killed are five times greater if you are thrown from the vehicle. Thousands of people who die in car crashes each year might still be alive today if they had only been wearing their seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt isn't just a good idea; it's the law and many states conduct heightened enforcement of their seat belt laws. Forty-nine states, all except New Hampshire have mandatory safety belt laws. In most states, these laws cover front seat occupants only, although belt laws in 16...