Buckling Up Makes You Twice as Safe on the Road (National Safety Council)

You should make a habit of buckling your safety belt before you put your key in the ignition, because remembering to do so can cut your risk of injury in half. Also remember to check that all passengers have buckled up before departing. These easy precautions can not only help save you money on seatbelt tickets, which raise your insurance costs; they can also save lives.

Take a look at the following seatbelt usage facts to help you remember how important buckling up for safety can be.

  • You cannot control when an accident will occur, but you can control how prepared you are. A seatbelt can make a world of difference if you’re involved in an accident, no matter how minor it may be. About 43,000 deaths occur each year because of car crashes, and these causalities affect both responsible and irresponsible drivers. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Seatbelts are designed to protect the strongest parts of your body -- your hips and shoulders. It is very important to wear your seatbelt the correct way. Never place the shoulder strap behind you or under your arm; wear it across your chest. By slowing down the force of your body jerking forward, you may be able to prevent your head from hitting the steering wheel or dashboard. A seatbelt could also protect the most vital parts of your body, namely your brain and spinal cord, from serious injury.
  • Seatbelts are especially important for children. A child should utilize more than just a seat belt, however. Until they are at least 4'9", Infinity Insurance recommends that a child use a rear-facing car seat, then a forward-facing car seat and, as they grow older, a booster seat. For more information on what booster seat or car seat is necessary for your child, read our article on car seat safety. It is wise to have your child sit in the back seat until they are 13 years old. A seatbelt will keep your child safely restrained inside the car and protect his or her more fragile skeletal system. 
  • Seatbelts can help you in more ways than you realize. Many people believe that seatbelts can be dangerous if their car catches on fire or is submerged in water, but that sentiment is not necessarily true. If your car becomes submerged in water or catches on fire, your seatbelt could actually make it easier to stay in place as you work to escape from the car. However, it is still a good practice to keep a seatbelt cutter in your center console just in case you are ever trapped by a seatbelt. 
  • You may have heard that seatbelts hurt more people than they help but that idea is completely false. The National Safety Council, or NSC, reports that properly used lap/shoulder seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal harm to a passenger traveling in the front seat of the car by 45%. Not only that, but the risk of moderate to critical injuries is reduced by an astounding 50%, simply by buckling up for safety. Going through the windshield can cause far more serious harm to your body than a seatbelt ever could. Don’t ever forget that you are four times more likely to be killed if you are thrown from the vehicle.
  • Seatbelt laws vary from state to state, so the best thing you can do is make sure that you and every passenger in your car is wearing a seatbelt at all times. Most states follow primary enforcement laws, meaning that officers may stop and reprimand any car in which seatbelt laws are not being followed. Wearing your seatbelt in the front seat is a must in every state but New Hampshire, but in some states there are cases where the law allows for unrestrained passengers in the back seat. However, Infinity Insurance still recommends that you buckle up for safety, even if it’s not illegal to ride in the back seat without a seatbelt.
  • Seatbelts are effective and have been effective for a very long time. The NHTSA shows that in 2007 alone over 15,000 lives were saved thanks to seatbelts. Between the years of 1975 through 2007 nearly 242,000 lives were saved. With statistics like these, it is clear to see why most of the states in the nation practice primary enforcement of seatbelt laws.

Putting on your seatbelt only takes a few seconds, and it can save your life. Please buckle up for safety, even when you are only taking a short trip. Put your seatbelt on before you even start the car, and don’t start driving until all of your passengers are properly buckled. What may seem like a nuisance could actually save lives. 

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