Imagine running as fast as you can into a wall. Your expectation would be to get hurt very badly. Do you think it’s possible for you to stop yourself if the wall suddenly loomed up when you were two feet away from it? This is exactly the situation one faces when the front of the car one is driving or being driven in hits something at only fifteen miles an hour. The car would stop in the first tenth of a second, but the passenger would keep on at the same rate the car was moving at until he is stopped by something, most probably the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield but only if he is not wearing a safety belt. From this case it already is bad enough at fifteen miles an hour. At thirty miles the hit would be four times as hard. It can only be compared to the impact of a body falling from a three storey building. Though seat belts are usually placed in the car for people’s safety, many tend to ignore them. Citing various reasons ranging from the distance they are to travel to comfort ability. This seatbelts are of many great uses and there are many reasons why we should always where them, most importantly it can save your life.
One of the main reasons why one should buckle up in the car is to prevent both death and multiple injuries in case of an accident. It is a proven fact that failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. Over 63% of people killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts. Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. Yet only 68 percent of the motor vehicle occupants are buckled. In 1996, more than 60 percent of the occupants killed in fatal crashes were unrestrained. If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually. Whenever accidents occur and the car swerves or stops so suddenly those passengers not wearing their seat belts would most likely be thrown all around the car in the process hitting themselves on the sides of the car. This will cause injuries and some of which may be fatal. Therefore just by not wearing ones belt one might end up loosing ones life. (Contributor, 2008)
Seat belts ensure Stability of the driving Position and better control of cars. When Seat belts are strapped properly they help in maintaining better stability in your seat while driving at slow, cruising or high speeds. This is proven in fact especially to those rally drivers who participate in racing competitions; if this rally drivers don’t where seat belts in cases of accidents in the track they may loose their lives. also When one is driving at times and is forced to swerve, break suddenly or veer toward any direction on the road for reasons such as an oncoming car or slippery roads, wearing a seat belt helps to keep one behind the wheel and as such it might help to control the vehicle better. Better car control is sometimes very important especially after near collision cases where the driver has to ensure the car remains balanced and does not topple over.
Seat belts are also important in ensuring better Impact Absorption Capabilities. when one is driving or riding while wearing a seat belt, the impact of your internal organs hitting against the inside of your body is reduced, if the car in which you are riding or driving is in a collision, crash or other major accident. A common fact is that, seat belts increase your chances of surviving a collision by 45 to 50 per cent, while airbags give you an extra five per cent survivability in frontal collisions. Airbags are not effective in side, rear or rollover situations, however and they are designed to work with your seat belt. Therefore by one wearing a seat belts the injuries become of a lesser nature hence ensuring survival (willis, 2001).
Another main reason why we should buckle up is to prevent death of children. It is a proven fact that Auto accidents usually are most responsible for death of children between the ages 4 to 14. It is noted that at least five children lost their lives while another 640 sustained injuries daily in the year 2005 from auto accidents. The main cause of this was the improper use of child restraints, seatbelts and booster seats. Even though nearly all the infants and small children usually buckle up in the United States, safety problems take place because the children are not belted properly. Only few of the children who should use booster seats use them. Yet it is clear that a child in a booster seat is less likely to be injured or killed in an auto accident than a child restrained by a seatbelt only. (B, 2007)
We should also wear our seatbelts because the loss caused by unbuckled drivers and passengers. When they die, apart from the huge loss to their families, every other person ends up paying for them in higher taxes, higher health care and higher insurance costs. On average, inpatient hospital care costs for an unbelted crash victim are fifty percent higher than those for a belted crash victim. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved. Every American pays about $580 a year toward the cost of crashes. If everyone buckled up, this figure would drop significantly.
The final reason for wearing a seat belt is because it is a requirement of the laws of many countries and any one defying them ends up paying hefty fine or being charged in court. A good example of such is where 30 states including the District of Columbia developed seat belt laws. This means that law enforcement can pull you over to check whether you were using your seat belt. They enforced fines for not wearing a seat belt in this states which ranged from $10 for not buckling up in the back seat especially in North Carolina to even larges amounts as $200 in Texas no matter which position you sat in. some of this fine may be very high and in the process lead to financial constraints to the drivers and passengers thereby causing great inconvenience (Moines, 2004)
Seat belts have very many uses. When worn properly, they help prevent deaths and injuries of both the drivers and passengers, and are also important for stability while driving and better control of the vehicle in cases one is forced to swerve or brake instantly. Wearing seatbelts is important especially in order to prevent the death of children in cases of accidents. The deaths caused by not wearing seatbelts not only cause suffering to the families but also raises taxes, health care and insurance costs. Many countries have enforced laws to force their drivers to use seat belts and if they default they are heavily fine. Therefore for the good of the whole society it is advisable to wear seat belts if only to save lives.
- B, A. (2007, 5 11). autor car and truck insurance quotes all us states. Retrieved 11 21, 2010, from us-auto-insurance.com: http://us-auto-insurance.com/
- Contributor, e. (2008, 5 6). Why Should We Wear Seatbelts. Retrieved 11 21, 2010, from www.ehow.com: http://www.ehow.com/facts_4898948_why-should-we-wear-seatbelts.html
- Moines, D. (2004, 5 24). IOWA PARTICIPATES IN NATION-WIDE SEATBELT ENFORCEMENT PROJECT WHICH AIMS TO SAVE LIVES AND REDUCE INJURIES. Retrieved 11 21, 2010, from www.dps.state.ia.u:http://www.dps.state.ia.us/commis/pib/Releases/2004/Nation_wide_seatbelt_enforcement.html
- Willis, B. (2001, 4 15). using seatbelts. Retrieved 11 21, 2010, from www.worsleyschool.net: http://www.worsleyschool.net/science/files/seat/belts.html