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Not Just An Annoying Latch: The Importance of Wearing Seat Belts

Seat belts are not just your ordinary interior latch that you have to wear to avoid road violations. Seat belts are safety essentials though they are most of the time taken for granted. Whether you believe it or not, there have been significant figures which empirically tell us that seat belts have been silent heroes for drivers and passengers through the years.

In the United States, more than 2 million drivers and passengers get caught in accidents a year. With this, it is striking to note that almost half of those who survive from car accidents would say that they made it alive because they wore their seat belts at the time of the accident. In a 2014 medical statistics record in the US shows that the government saved up to $50 billion in medical costs from accidents because of seat belts.

Regardless, there is still a growing concern specially that to date a 1:7 ratio is still on post. It means that only one of seven people wear their seat belts every time they drive.
Men are more prone to car accidents because they are 10% to less likely latch up their seatbelts when driving. Country side drivers are also 10% to less likely put their seatbelts on in comparison to city dwellers.

It is very important to wear seatbelts because it reduces the risk of death by 45% and serious injuries brought about by road accidents by 50%. To get down to the root of all of these, here are some of the more practical reasons why you should always wear seatbelts.

  1. Prevents passengers to be thrown away during crash. People who are not wearing seatbelts are 30 times most likely to be thrown out of the car during an accident. To keep passengers inside the car, seatbelts restrain the strongest parts of our body like our hips and shoulders. It helps us to maintain our balance amidst collision and lets us bounce our way out of dangerous zones.
  2. Inhibits force from collision. Our lap and shoulder seatbelts spread force of collision through all the areas of the body. People who survive in a car crash would notice that the force of collision is not concentrated on one area alone that’s why they got out alive. The shoulder strap on the other hand prevents our head and upper body from being banged in the dashboard or the steering wheel. Moreover, seatbelts also help our body slow down giving time for our nervous system to activate adrenaline that will keep us alert to engaging in self-preservation reflexes.
  3. Protects the brain and spine. Our two critical areas are always the brain and our spinal cord. Most road injuries paralyze victims for good because their heads might have been hit hard, affecting our motor and muscular nerves. Damage in the spinal cord most likely due to being ejected out of the car during a crash may have serious repercussions to the victims such as paralysis, muscular atrophies, cognitive functioning and movement. Seatbelts are actually designed to protect these two major parts of our body.

Given these stats and practical tips, drivers and passengers alike must re-evaluate their perceptions in the use of seatbelts. At the end of the day, the safety benefits of seatbelts outweigh the hassle of putting it on and unstrapping it.