There are many myths surrounding seat belt safety. We analyze the most common misconceptions, reveal the truth, and share tips on what you can do to ensure you and your fellow passengers stay safe while riding in a car.
Myth #1: There is no need to wear a seat belt if you aren’t driving that far or that fast.
Truth: Most accidents happen close to home at lower speeds.
Even routine trips can turn deadly. According to the NHTSA, most fatal accidents happen within 25 miles from your house and may involve speeds of less than 25 mph.
Myth #2: Since a car has airbags wearing a seat belt is redundant.
Truth: Airbags are designed to protect a buckled person, not an unbuckled one.
During a crash, seatbelts hold a person in place and in the proper position for when an airbag deploys. By not wearing your seatbelt you could slide under the wheel or be thrown out the front windshield. Slamming into an airbag and steering wheel at full force could also seriously injure or kill you. An airbag cannot fully protect you by itself.
Myth #3: Seat belts trap you in your car during a crash.
Truth: They prevent you from being knocked unconscious, so you are more likely to escape after a crash.
This fear comes from crashes involving fire or water, which only accounts for 0.5% of all wrecks. Instead of putting yourself in jeopardy by not wearing a seatbelt, be prepared. Auto safety devices like seatbelt cutters and car window breakers should be a part of your car emergency kit. Place them in a nearby, easy-to-reach area like a keychain or the vehicle’s center console.
Myth #4: Seat belts are dangerous and can seriously hurt you.
Truth: They may leave bruises, but they can save your life in a crash.
Crashes are sudden and violent events that often happen in the blink of an eye. Both seatbelts and airbags are designed to respond rapidly in a crash. The force of a seatbelt jerking against your chest can be jarring and may leave you with minor aches or bruises afterward.
But a seatbelt’s job is to save your life. Studies have shown that buckling up reduces the chance of being fatally injured by 50% in a serious crash. It’s the single most effective way to protect yourself in case a distracted, speeding, or drunk driver hits you.
Myth #5: You don’t need to wear a seat belt in the back seat.
Truth: You always need to wear a seatbelt, no matter which seat you are sitting in.
Unbuckled passengers are three times more likely to die in a crash. Wearing your seatbelt not only could save your life, but also significantly reduce your chances of suffering serious injury.
We covered the importance of wearing a seatbelt in the back of a vehicle extensively in a previous blog post. Check it out: https://www.garymartinhays.com/car-accident-posts/not-wearing-seatbelt-in-back-seat/
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Car accidents are very serious, especially if you have been hurt. Contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates for a free consultation. We explain your rights, the process, and how to navigate the insurance company’s demands. Call (770) 934-8000 or message us online.