Every car, truck, SUV, and wagons sold in the USA has seat belts. These features act as more than just decorative accessories. They’re critical to ensuring that you arrive at your destination in one piece. Black Label Automotive Mechanic details the following 10 reasons why you need to have your seatbelt on.
1. You’ll stay alive during an accident.
The entire point of putting seatbelts on cars is to keep you and your passengers alive during an accident. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control for 2016, from 53 percent to 62 percent of teens and adults had not buckled up. The organization calls the safety belt “one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.”
2. It keeps you in your vehicle.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia says that people not wearing a seatbelt are 30 times more likely to be thrown out of a vehicle during a crash, especially during rollovers. And three out of four people who are ejected from their vehicle during a fatal crash die from their injuries.
3. It’s the law.
In California, wearing seatbelts is the law. You and all your passengers must wear both a lap belt and a shoulder harness in a car. If you have any passengers under 16 years old who are not wearing a seatbelt, you, as the driver, may be cited. In fact, not wearing a seatbelt gets you a ticket in 34 states, including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
4. You set a good example for your young drivers.
Your children do what you do and not what you say. They mirror what you show them in your vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that teens are less likely to buckle up than adults, which increases their risk of injury and death. If you drive defensively and put on your safety belt each time, your young drivers are more likely to do the same thing when they get behind the wheel.
5. Air bags don’t help as much in accidents if you’re not wearing a seatbelt.
In modern vehicles, air bags form part of a comprehensive safety system that includes seatbelts and head restraints. They are not as effective by themselves. According to the NHTSA, if you do not wear a seatbelt, a crash can throw you into an airbag that is quickly inflating. That impact force can hurt or kill you.
6. You won’t injure another passenger.
What if everybody in your car buckles up but you don’t? In an accident, your body becomes a loose projectile that could hurt or kill other passengers, especially if they’re children.
7. A sudden stop won’t hurt.
If you make an emergency stop to avoid everything from a child darting in your path to a car suddenly stopping in front of you, you won’t be propelled forward if you’re wearing your seatbelt. Otherwise, you may injure your chest and head as they ram into the steering wheel and windshield.
8. Your insurance may reward you with discounts.
Many insurance companies, such as GEICO, offer good discounts if you and your passengers always wear your seat belts. It’s part of being a good driver, which means a lower chance of you getting into an accident and filing a claim.
9. If you do not wear a seatbelt during an accident, an insurance company may deny all or part of your claim.
If you’re injured in a crash and file a claim against the at-fault driver, his insurance company may deny all or part of your claim if you were not wearing a seatbelt. This “seatbelt defense” is perfectly valid in California although it may not be in other states. That defense could prevent you from recovering any damage, injury, or “pain and suffering” costs resulting from the accident.
10. You’ll avoid the annoying warning.
Start the engine without buckling up and your seatbelt warning goes off. This series of beeps, honks, screeches, or other random noises are designed to annoy you. They’ll only go away when you buckle up.
By: Eric Reyes