brier May 7, 2013 No Comments

Every state with the exception of New Hampshire requires drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts when riding in motor vehicles. Seat belts have been proven over and over to save lives and while statistics say 88% of people wear seat belts there is still that small 12% who refuse. Refusing to buckle up plays a role in more motor vehicle fatalities than any other activity. Three out of four people who are ejected from a car during a crash will not survive, something which is totally preventable by just taking 2 seconds to buckle up.

Having good driving skills is simply not enough to protect you or your passengers because you cannot control the weather, conditions or other drivers on the road. We need to take every safety precaution we can to ensure that we are
fully protected in the event of a crash. Drivers have a 40% better chance of survival when wearing their seatbelt.

Knowing the importance of wearing a seatbelt is necessary at every age. There are a few tips that are good to know and remember whenever you are planning to drive your car, or ride in someone else’s:

  1. Wear your seatbelt! Even if it’s the most beautiful day outside and the roads are empty you still must wear your seatbelt.

  2. Always be sure to place infants in rear facing car seat. Toddlers can be in a forward facing car seat. Children between ages 4-8 can start wearing seatbelts. Remember age 12 and under should always be seated in the back seat.

  3. Never try to double up or share seatbelts, this greatly reduces their effectiveness in the event of a crash.

  4. Make sure to check your seatbelts periodically, check it see that they are not worn and everything is in proper working order.

  5. Seatbelts are only functional if used and worn properly. You should not use lap belts as shoulder belts or shoulder belts as lap belts; this also greatly reduces their effectiveness and can cause serious injury.

  6. Having air bags is not going to protect you alone. Just because your car is equipped with them does not mean you should not wear your seatbelt. Air bags are most effective when you are properly protected first with a seatbelt.

  7. Before starting your engine make sure your and everyone else in the car is properly buckled up and seated appropriately for their age and size.

By following these guidelines you are setting yourself up for a much better chance of surviving and having fewer injuries in the event of a crash. Always wear your seatbelt and make sure your passengers do too. Remember when you are behind the wheel you everyone in the car is putting their safety in your hands.