Do you buckle your seat belt every time you get in a car? If you’ve answered “maybe” or “no,” even just once, you need to read on.
Recent studies show that South Carolina ranks third for the worst drivers in the nation and first in roadway fatalities. The majority of those fatalities are caused by drunk driving, but more than half of the 635 people killed on state roads last year weren’t wearing their seat belts.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration observed that seat belts save over 15,000 lives in the United States each year.
Here are 5 different ways a seat belt prevents serious injuries and fatalities.
1.Keeps occupants inside of the vehicle. Studies prove that when a driver or passenger is thrown from a vehicle, they are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.
2.Restrains the strongest parts of the body. Seat belts are designed to take advantage of the strongest parts of your body. For an adult or child, these areas are the hips and shoulders.
3.Spreads the force from the impact. Lap and shoulder belts disperse the force from impact over a wide area of the body. By placing less stress on any one area, belts can help prevent serious injuries. A shoulder belt also keeps your head, shoulders, and chest away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the vehicle.
4.Keeps your body from being thrown forward and back. Severe injuries are caused by the quick movement when the body is thrown forward and backward during the impact. This is called a whiplash injury.
5.Safeguards your brain and spinal cord. Seatbelts and head rests work together to protect two crucial areas: the brain and spinal cord. Brain and spinal cord injuries are caused by violent movement that pulls, twists, or causes compression. By wearing a seat belt properly, the body is braced against the seat.
Buckle Up Correctly
It is important to wear a safety belt properly. The seat belt strap that crosses your lap should fit closely over your hips and upper thigh area, never over your stomach. A seat belt worn over your stomach can cause abdominal injuries during a forceful impact.
Shoulder belts should always rest firmly across your chest and shoulder between your breasts. It is important not to allow the strap to rest loosely or cross your neck or face, and to never tuck the strap under your arms or behind your back.
If you notice that your seat belt does not appear to be working properly, have it checked by your car dealer or auto mechanic.
Contact the Steinberg Law Firm if you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident. With offices in Charleston, Goose Creek and Summerville, our auto accident attorneys are conveniently located in order to better serve you. We can be reached online at any time or you can contact us by phone at 843-720-2800.