For many of us, putting on our seatbelt when we get into a vehicle is second nature. It is a habit we’ve built over the years and, while we may take it for granted, it is one of the smartest things a person riding in or driving a vehicle can make. The statistics and studies make it clear. Seatbelts save lives. So, for those who are not in the habit of buckling up, make the effort to educate on the importance of doing so. You might just be saving someone’s life.
Why You Should Always Wear a Seatbelt
Seatbelts act as personal restraints which will restrict a person’s movements in the event of a motor vehicle collision. They are safety features intended to keep you both safe and secure in your vehicle. Without a seatbelt, you are at the mercy of physics and can easily be thrown harshly around your vehicle or completely ejected from the vehicle in the event of an impact.
Looking at statistics surrounding the use and lack of use of seatbelts can be sobering. It is clear that seatbelts save lives. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that front-seat passengers of cars can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and moderate to critical injury by 50% with the use of a seatbelt. Passengers in a light truck can reduce the chance of fatal injury by 60% and moderate to critical injury by 65% by using a seatbelt.
While all vehicles come standard with a number of safety features, such as airbags, seatbelts are a critical line of defense to protect yourself should you be involved in a car crash. In fact, airbags are designed to work in tandem with seat belts. Airbag protection will only be maximized when a seatbelt is used and can even harm a person who is not wearing a seatbelt. The force in which airbags deploy can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, injury, should a person in a vehicle fail to use a seatbelt.
To reap all of the benefits a seatbelt has to offer, properly using a seatbelt and ensuring a proper fit is key. This means that you should not put a strap below your arm. Instead, the lap belt should be secured across your pelvis and the shoulder belt should be secured across your rib case. More specifically, the shoulder belt should run across the middle of your chest and away from your neck. Your lap belt should rest across your hips as opposed to your stomach.
Regarding proper fit for a seatbelt, consult your car dealer prior to purchasing a vehicle about how seat belts can be adjusted. In some cases, vehicle manufacturers will provide seat belt extenders should a person require more room in the belt. Should you buy an older model of a vehicle where some seats are outfitted with lap belts only, check on the option to have the vehicle retrofitted with the safer versions that come with both a lap and shoulder restraint.
Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys
Buckle up. It can literally be the difference between life and death. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash, do not delay in reaching out to Compass Law Group. Contact us today.