Seat Belts: As Important as Safe Brakes and Tires

by Joe Ferguson on July 30, 2013

seat-belt-safety

It’s a simple fact that seat belts save lives. If it weren’t for the advent of the seat belt in modern cars, there would be far fewer people on the road and fewer people in general. Before you decide to be a low-rent daredevil and forgo wearing your seat belt while driving, make sure you’re prepared for the repercussions.

Seatbelts should be considered one of your car’s most important safety features, along with brakes, well-maintained tires, and airbags, if not the most important.

Even if your brakes and tires are in perfect condition, if you have to quickly stop the car and your seat belt isn’t properly fastened, you’ll end up going through the windshield. Here are some things to consider before deciding not to wear a seat belt.

In most states, there are seat belt laws that penalize those who hit the streets without buckling up. If that isn’t reason enough to strap in, it’s estimated that seat belts save thousands of lives each year. In 2009, 53% of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing seat belts.

According to the CDC, seat belt restraints reduce the risk of death for front seat drivers and passengers by up to 45% and can reduce the risk of serious injury by 50%.

Next time you do a thorough inspection of your car’s safety features (airbags, brakes, tires,  car alarm, etc.) and want to make sure everything is in proper working order; make sure all of your car’s seat belts are functioning properly. Oil changes and alignments are important as well, but nothing is more imperative than the safety of you and your passengers.

Perhaps it’s a sense of independence that makes people not want to wear their seat belts. While nobody wants to be told what to do, this logic is far from concrete. How do these folks plan on being independent once they’ve died because they didn’t feel like buckling up?

Source: CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbeltbrief

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