According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, non-fatal auto crashes resulted in injuries that cost more than $50 billion in lifetime medical and work losses, and that’s just in 2012. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teenagers.
What’s worse, of the teens who died in crashes in 2012, about 55 percent of them weren’t wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash. And, men are 10 percent less likely to wear seatbelts too. How can these statistics be turned around? For the most part, the answer lies in prevention.
Seatbelts Keep Occupants Inside The Vehicle
After you’ve been in a collision, your first call might be to a roadside services company like Towing San Jose, but what you need to do is make sure you don’t need medical attention. Seatbelts keep you inside the vehicle, instead of letting you crash through the windshield, but this doesn’t mean you won’t be injured.
Seatbelts Restrain Strongest Parts Of The Body
Seatbelts restrain the largest portion of your body, so that you stay in place in your seat, for the most part. The seatbelt is designed around your body’s strongest areas – the hips and shoulders. While your shoulder joints aren’t necessarily the strongest joints in your body, the best that sits across the front of your chest covers the main portion of your body, that is to say the largest mass or area of your body.
Seatbelts Help Slow The Body Down
A seatbelt helps slow down your body so that you don’t experience as sudden a stop. The main cause of injury in a collision is the sudden stop, not the speed. Seatbelts help to mitigate damage caused by sudden stops.
Seatbelts Protect The Spinal Cord and Brain
Seatbelts also protect the brain and spinal cord. Because your body is being slowed down by the seatbelt, the impact should not affect your brain and spine in the same way that an unsecured impact would.
You may still get injured, but the injury is less likely to be as damaging as if you didn’t wear a seatbelt.
Seatbelts Protect Children, But Only When They’re In a Child Seat
Children are not “little adults.” They need special care and attention. For small children, under age 1, you should orient them so that they are rear-facing. In a front collision, children don’t have the strength to survive an impact like adults do.
Their bodies are not fully formed.
Children that are older than one year and over 20 pounds should face the front. When securing the child seat, make sure you pull the belt all the way out until it locks. Then, allow the belt to retract. This is a common safety feature in all modern automobiles. It prevents slack in the belt, which is important for child seat stability.
Booster seats should be used by children aged 4 and older who weigh more than 40 pounds. Finally, when children outgrow their booster seats, they can start sitting in the back seat unaided, except for the seatbelt, of course.
Michael McDaniel is a cab driver and has been in some sticky driving situations. He has seen the effects of using seat belts. Also an avid writer, he hopes providing his experiences and insights will help others driver safer. Look for his posts on a variety of opinion and lifestyle blogs.