Although many new safety features have hit the market in the last decade, wearing a seatbelt still offers the most protection in a crash. In the initial stage of a car crash, you are in a vehicle that is moving. If the vehicle is in motion, so is your body. If a car comes to an abrupt stop and you are not using a seatbelt, your body will continue moving until it meets something to break that momentum (ie: the dashboard, the windshield, etc).
The secondary stage of the crash is that point where the vehicle stops, but your body does not due to inertia. This moment is where a seatbelt can really save a life. The third stage is the internal collision that occurs inside the human body to bones, brain, and other organs after the body’s movement begin to slow. Wearing a seatbelt can help prevent life-threatening internal and external injuries in a crash.
What the Statistics Say About Wearing a Seatbelt
Seatbelt usage goes up every year. Those who do not wear their seatbelts are far more likely to be ejected from a vehicle. In addition, 75 percent of people ejected from not wearing their seatbelt in a vehicle during a crash die because of their injuries.
Statistically, teenagers are the least compliant about wearing seatbelts. However, teens whose parents both model and monitor the use of seatbelts are more likely to wear them. Also, when teens are aware of the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, they are more likely to buckle up. Fortunately, 2019 saw the highest seatbelt usage to date.
Airbags and Seatbelts Work as a Team
Some people believe that airbags alone offer enough protection on their own when there is a crash. This is simply not true. However, airbags and seatbelts do work alongside one another to protect passengers within the vehicle.
Seatbelts should always go across the lap, and across the chest from shoulder to hip. The shoulder harness and the lap belt work by allowing the strongest areas of your body – which are the bones of your hips, shoulder, and chest – to take the brunt of the force.
In a crash, the seatbelt and airbag absorb the force of the body as the vehicle abruptly stops. The seatbelt works to keep you inside the car instead of being ejected from the vehicle. Also, the seatbelt helps keep your body in the correct position, so the airbag can properly cushion you from the force of the impact.
Wearing Your Seatbelt Is The Law
Nearly every state has laws in place related to seatbelts, and Nebraska is no different. Some states have a primary enforcement law, which means a law enforcement officer can pull over a driver solely for not wearing their seatbelt. Other states have secondary laws. This gives officers the ability to give a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt if the vehicle was pulled over for a primary offense.
Safe driving isn’t just about what happens outside the car, but what happens inside the car as well. So, make it a habit to ALWAYS buckle up. And, if you have passengers in the vehicle, make sure that they are properly buckled up, too. We here at Friedman Law Offices suggest you always wear your seatbelt, not just because it’s the law, but for your safety.