Although seat belts were a feature of cars for well over half a century, too many people fail to use them today. This is not for want of public awareness of seat belt usage. Rather, the problem is caused by a failure to appreciate the true dangers of riding in a car. People have no comprehension of the violence of car accidents and of what can happen to an unbelted individual. The reasons for not buckling up don’t hold up to close scrutiny and are nothing more than misconceptions. Here are four of them:
Seat Belts Are a Personal Choice That Don’t Affect Others
If you are a parent, your choice affects your children’s attitudes toward seat belts and their driving safety as adults. A seat belt prevents you from being thrown against and injuring the other occupants of a car in an accident. Its restraining action may prevent you from losing control of your car in an accident and causing even more harm to the people in your car and to other motorists.
Being Thrown Clear of the Wreckage Is Safer
The chances of getting killed increase fourfold after ejection from a car in an accident. When seat belted in a car, you benefit from the steel cage that surrounds you. Bumpers, energy absorbing zones, and airbags isolate you from the full force of the accident. Without this protection, a person will slam into other objects or cars at highway speeds.
Airbags Provide Plenty of Protection
Airbags only supplement seat belt use. They prevent the face from impacting the steering wheel, dashboard, or seat back in front of the person. Airbags won’t help in a rollover or T-bone accident. Serious neck and spinal injuries may occur when the unbelted person gets thrown against an airbag. Airbags do not restrain people and therefore allow them to be thrown around the inside of the car.
Seat Belts Aren’t Necessary for Short Trips near the Home
Most accidents occur within 25 miles of home. Home is where you do most of your driving and if you do this unbelted, then getting into an accident without your seat belt on is highly probable. The so-called slow speeds of local driving such as 30 or 40 mph means that a sudden impact throws the unbelted driver against his steering wheel, windshield, or dashboard at 30 or 40 mph which is enough to be fatal.
If you were involved in an accident and require the help of an experienced attorney, contact us today.