One of the safest choices you can make as a driver is to buckle up. Buckling up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, while not buckling up can result in fatal injury in the event of an accident. Studies show that drivers who do not use seat belts are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash and, consequently, 75 percent of those ejected are fatal accidents.
Be mindful that it is also important to wear your seat belt properly. Improperly wearing your seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you at risk if you are involved in an accident. To wear your seat belt correctly, place the shoulder belt away from your neck (but not off your shoulder) and across your chest, making sure to remove any slack from your seat belt, with the lap belt secured below your belly so that it fits snug across your hips and pelvic bone.
Here are a few common misconceptions—and the corresponding truths—about seat belts:
Myth – Seat belts aren’t necessary for low-speed driving.
Fact – In a frontal collision occurring at 30 miles per hour, an unbelted passenger continues to move forward at 30 miles per hour causing them to hit the windshield at that speed. This is the same velocity a person falling from the top of a three-story building would experience upon impact with the ground.
Myth – It takes too much time to fasten your seat belt 20 times a day.
Fact – Buckling up takes about three seconds. Buckling 20 times a day requires only one minute of your time!
Myth – A lap belt offers sufficient protection.
Fact – The lap and shoulder belt design has been proven to hold a driver securely behind the wheel in the event of a crash, greatly increasing the driver’s ability to maintain control of the vehicle and minimizing the chance for serious injury or death.
The benefits of properly wearing seat belts are clear—please stay safe and buckle up every single time you enter a vehicle. It’s worth it!