Some of us have been around long enough to remember when wearing a seat belt was optional, and some of us are even old enough to remember when car manufacturers weren’t even required to install them in the first place! Nowadays, not only is it the law in most jurisdictions for all passengers to fasten their seat belt but our cars will obnoxiously beep if we forget. This is for good reason because according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts can reduce the risk for injury and save lives in the event of a car accident. However, despite this obvious statement, MILLIONS do not buckle up when traveling in a motor vehicle.
In 2016 alone, 23,714 vehicle occupants (drivers and passengers) died in automobile collisions, of which more than half were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. Let’s dispel some of the myths associated with seat belt use and misuse…
MYTH: Seat belts are uncomfortable and can restrict one’s movement and ability to operate a vehicle.
REALITY: You can adjust the seat belt properly for body size and height.
MYTH: If you are a good driver, you don’t need a seat belt.
REALITY: You can’t control the OTHER DRIVERS.
MYTH: Airbags are enough. I don’t need my seat belt.
REALITY: Airbags are designed to work in coordination with seat belt use, and they may not help you in a roll-over crash.
MYTH: If I brace myself for the impact, I’ll be fine.
REALITY: Studies have demonstrated that the whiplash process can occur faster than the brain can react to it.
MYTH: I’d rather be thrown away from the vehicle.
REALITY: There isn’t a bed of pillows outside the car waiting for you. The chances for survival when ejected from the vehicle are extremely low.
So always make sure to wear a seat belt. If you do experience a collision, the injuries you sustain will certainly be less serious than you’d suffer without a restraint.