Buckling Up for Safety Makes You Twice as Safe on the Road

You may not like wearing a seat belt, but going without is a dangerous decision.

Everyone has an opinion about seat belts, but if your opinion is negative you are probably misinformed. You should make a habit of having your safety belt on 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 to be sure that all passengers have buckled up before departing. These easy precautions can not only help save you money on seat belt tickets and rising insurance costs, they can save lives.

Being informed about the ways in which seat belts help can make even the most skeptical drivers reconsider their stance. Take a look at the following seat belt 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 seat belt 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.
  • Seat belts can help you in more ways than you realize. Many people believe that seat belts can be dangerous if their car catches on fire or is submerged in water, but this is not true. If your car becomes submerged in water or catches on fire your seat belt can actually make it easier to stay in place as you work to escape from the car.
  • It is a common belief that seat belts hurt more people than they help but this is completely false. The National Safety Council, or NSC, reports that properly used lap/shoulder seat belts reduce the risk of fatal harm to a passenger traveling in the front seat by 45%. Not only that, the risk of moderate to critical injuries is reduced by an astounding 50% by simply buckling up for safety.
  • Seat belt 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 seat belt at all times. Most states follow primary enforcement laws, meaning that officers may stop and reprimand any car in which seat belt laws are not being followed.
  • Seat belts are effective and have been for a long time. The NSC shows that in 2007 alone over 15,000 lives were saved thanks to seat belts. Between the years of 1975 through 2007 nearly 242,000 lives were saved. With statistics like these it becomes easier to see why most of the states in the nation practice primary enforcement of seat belt laws.