YES, Seat Belts Save Lives
According to the website of the Employer Traffic Safety Program, a Program of the National Safety Council, “the simple act of wearing a safety belt is the easiest , least expensive and most effective way to prevent traffic deaths and injuries.” Drivers and passengers who buckle up are 50% more likely to survive serious traffic crashes and avoid serious injuries. “
In November of 2013,The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released automobile crash statistics on the number of lives saved during the 5-year period form 2008 to 2012. According to this study, seat belts saved almost 63,000 lives.
In 2012 alone, over 12,000 lives were saved by the use of seat belts.
In 2009, almost all of the 13,000 fatalities resulting from auto accidents were not wearing seat belts.
It is estimated that each year, safety belts have helped to prevent more than 15,000 deaths and over 300,000 injuries.
HOW DO SEAT BELTS SAVE LIVES?
Angela Osterhuber, director of the Pennsylvania TrafficInjury Prevention Project in Media, Pa., states that seat belts prevent serious injuries and deaths in several ways:
Seat belts keep the occupants from becoming ejected from the vehicle. “People thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.”
The seat belt restrains the strongest parts of the body. “For an older child and adult, these parts are the hips and shoulders, which is where the seat belt should be strapped.” Osterhuber states that “lap and shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body. By putting less stress on any one area, they can help you avoid serious injury. A shoulder strap also helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the automobile should you stop suddenly or be hit by another vehicle.”
The seat belt helps the body to slow down. Osterhuber states that injuries are caused by quick changes in speed. “Seat belts help extend the time it takes for you to slow down in a crash.”
The seat belt protects your brain and spinal cord. Osterhuber also states that a seat belt is designed to protect these two critical areas. “Head injuries may be hard to see immediately, but they can be deadly” “Likewise, spinal cord injuries can have serious consequences.”
Beginning in 2002, the national “Click It or Ticket” campaign was started to encourage both drivers and passengers to fasten their seat belts or face an expensive ticket. Since then, millions of Americans are now complying with the law and automatically fastening their seatbelts and directing passengers and children to do the same. These laws vary from state to state, but fines can range from $25.00 up to $250.00 or more depending on court costs.
Buckle up! Drive Safely!
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