5 Benefits of Wearing a Seatbelt & Some Myths You Must Avoid
Nowadays, wearing a seat belt has become second nature to most people. They don’t need reminders for the implications of driving without a seatbelt. However, seatbelts haven’t always existed. Reports have shown that seat belts were made obligatory vehicle equipment around the late 1960s. In terms of design and structure, seatbelts have gone through various stages but what’s popular today in modern vehicles is the Bohlin design. The latter part of the 20th century introduced laws in the United States that mandate seat belts for front-seat occupants.
Recently, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS) reports that seatbelt use has risen to 90.3%, and unrestrained deaths declined to 38.5% in 2019. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of work to do on seatbelt safety enforcement since 25% of Americans still fail to use their seatbelt. What are some benefits of wearing seatbelts as a safety measure?
Some Advantages of Wearing a Seatbelt
1. Protecting Your Passengers
When your passenger wears a seatbelt during a ride, they are less likely to get injured if a crash happens. If those on a trip are not using seat belts and the vehicle is over-speeding, they could tumble things in the car, and this can affect other passengers. Utilizing a seatbelt will prevent you from hitting your head on the windshield or steering wheel of the car. It will strap you to the car’s seat and avoid any clash with the vehicle’s interior. Also, a seat belt can keep you buckled to your seat and protect your sensitive body parts/internal organs if a crash occurs.
2. Make Your Airbags More Effective
It is common knowledge that people expect airbags to save them during an accident. But not wearing a seatbelt can increase the effect of a crash. Your airbags might become futile if you don’t use a seatbelt because some car models use a sensor from the seatbelt during a crash to activate the airbags. Without using the belt, stand the risk of being thrown out of the vehicle if there’s an accident. Even pregnant women benefit from using a seatbelt since their baby is protected too. So seatbelts work effectively with airbags to save the life of whoever is driving the vehicle.
3. Be Safe Legally
In 1984, New York was the first state to make seatbelts compulsory by law; then, other states endorsed similar laws. Even though wearing a seatbelt is mandatory by the law in many states, it is still okay for people in New Hampshire to skip seat belts without any legal charge. In most other states, not wearing a seatbelt can attract legal punishment. When caught driving without a seatbelt, you can get a huge fine or a traffic ticket which can dent your driving records. Also, an unrestrained accident victim tends to pay 50% more for healthcare than a belted victim after an accident. Not wearing a seatbelt will cause you more harm than good on the road and in your finances too.
Seatbelt use has risen to 90.3%, and unrestrained deaths declined to 38.5% in 2019.
National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS)
4. Better Insurance Policy
If you have a seatbelt on during an accident, you are protected by insurance. You could even get compensation for damages from the insurance company. But if your insurance company gets any report of you driving without a seatbelt, it can cause your insurance cost to skyrocket since you will be tagged as a high-risk driver. Driving beltless will add money to your insurance company’s pocket and cost you more just because you avoided a simple safety measure.
5. A Solid Personal Injury Case
Sometimes you might be unfortunate to be in an accident. If this happens, you’ll need an attorney to help with your lawsuit. However, you’ll need evidence of being buckled up during the accident to have the upper hand in the case. If you can’t provide this evidence while living in a state with strict seat belt regulations, you can lose the case. The possibility that having a seatbelt on during the accident would have kept you safe will also be weighed. Considering this, the opposing counsel can argue that not wearing seatbelts caused a huge injury from the accident. At this point, some blame will shift to you, and your lawsuit might be dismissed.
Some Seatbelt Myths You Must Ignore
It is common to hear people give excuses for not wearing their seat belts; below are some myths about using seat belts and their truth.
1. Getting Stuck in a Vehicle During a Crash
The skepticism behind using seatbelts is closely related to the myth that seatbelts leave you trapped in the car seat when there’s a crash. Ironically, seatbelts ensure that you can quickly leave the vehicle even if you crash into the water.
For example, during an accident, there will be tumbling and rigorous movements that can damage internal organs if you’re without a belt. Using a seatbelt will protect you because your body won’t suffer huge damage from the impact of any crash. Your survival rate will increase, too, then you can crawl out of the vehicle. In cases where the seatbelt gets stuck, you can always cut it loose with a sharp object in the car.
2. Short Commutes Don’t Need Seatbelts
3. Seat Belts Can Injure You
When a vehicle crashes badly, a person can receive minor scratches from the seatbelt. However, that type of accident would have a far more significant impact without the seatbelt. So ultimately, seat belts are necessary to stay safe during commutes.
In summary, seatbelts are essential in many states because the benefits outweigh any inconvenience they might cause. Staying belted up will help protect both the driver and passengers during a crash and make airbags more efficient. You also enjoy the legal liberty that comes with using a seatbelt. You get compensation from your insurance company during an accident, and you can build a strong personal injury case. Although many people have some reservations about using seat belts, it is still the best vehicle safety measure everyone must take.