The importance of always wearing your seatbelt and why it’s worth the extra effort
Technological advancements have seen a massive improvement in vehicular safety features in the last few decades. Recent safety features include autopilot, cruise control, blind-spot cameras, and auto emergency braking.
While all these features play a significant role in making riding a vehicle safer, none is as effective in saving lives as the good old seatbelt.
According to the NHTSA, buckling up saved approximately 14,955 lives in 2017. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see drivers and passengers in motorized vehicles without seat belts.
If you are among the people that still need convincing on the importance of seatbelts, this post is a good read for you.
What if I am injured in an accident when not buckled up?
Being on the road means exposure to the risk of an accident. This calls for being proactive in ensuring your safety, with wearing a seat belt being an effective way of protecting yourself. However, accidents still happen even to the most careful because not everyone on the road may be as cautious.
If another person’s negligence results in an accident in which you suffer injuries, you are entitled to compensation. However, you may be partly to blame for your injuries if you are injured while in violation of safety belt rules, which can affect the value of your payout.
Whether you are the victim or are partly to blame for an accident, it is vital to talk to a personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm, such as Dave Abels, to help you protect your rights.
Importance of wearing a seat belt
It secures you in position and prevents ejection
When driving in rainy or icy conditions, the chances of skidding or spinning are relatively high. Buckling up ensures that you are secured and will be better at controlling the vehicle avoiding an accident.
Besides holding you in position in a skid, seat belts also ensure the driver and passengers stay in position in a rollover accident, avoiding ejection. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the odds of surviving an ejection are very low.
The seat belt works best with airbags
There is a common misconception that an airbag will protect a person just as a safety belt would in a collision. But the truth is, it cannot. Airbags are designed to add a layer of safety above what the seatbelt offers.
If a vehicle crashes while a driver is not buckled up, the rapid forward thrust throws the driver in the way of a fast opening airbag, resulting in more harm than good.
Distributes the force of impact
The most dangerous collisions are the ones that occur when a vehicle is at high speed. As a result of the speed, the impact can result in devastating injuries.
A seat belt helps distribute the impact around your waist area and the shoulder, meaning that no one part of the body bears the full impact of a crash, thus minimizing the chances of a severe injury.
It ensures you are on the good side of the law and insurance
If safety concerns are not reason enough to make you consider wearing a safety belt, maybe the financial cost will. Depending on your state, failure to buckle up will attract fines that can make quite a dent in your finances if you get pulled over.
Also, constant tickets can mean a poor record with insurers which they can use as a reason to hike your premiums. If your history is terrible, some insurance will view you as a high-risk client and may opt not to cover you.
The designers of the safety belt had vehicle occupants’ safety in mind. So, take advantage of this safety measure and increase your chances of surviving an accident.
Story by Jessica Perkins