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National Safety Council estimates that more than 14,000 persons die every year
in highway crashes that would not have been fatal if seat belts had been used.
These 14,000 deaths could have been prevented by merely "buckling
vehicles in use today are equipped with safety belts. The problem is that many
drivers and passengers fail to use them. Many people have arguments against the
use of belts, but little evidence to support their objections. Let's examine a
few of these objections and see what the experts at the National Safety Council
have to say about them.
"Safety belts are all right when I have a long way to travel, but on
short trips they're a real nuisance."
and unbuckling a few extra times is a heck of a lot easier than banging your
head against the windshield should you have an accident. Besides, most motor
vehicle accidents happen within 25 miles of home and at speeds below 40 miles
"If Iím in an accident, I don't want to be trapped in my
vehicle during a fire or if it goes into the water."
are that if the crash is severe enough to trap you in the vehicle, you will be
trapped even if you aren't wearing a belt. Besides fires occur in only 0.2% and
submersion in only 0.3% of all injury producing accidents. Even then your safety
belt can increase your chances of escape by keeping you from being knocked
ďIím a good driverónever had an accident. Why do I need safety
show that four out of five drivers involved in accidents never had one before.
In addition to reducing injuries and saving lives in accidents, safety belts are
comfortable, give you better control and make you less tired. Once the safety
belt habit is acquired, you will automatically buckle up every time you get into
"It's a free country and no one can make me wear seat belts if I
don't want to!"
rightóno one can force you to use safety belts. We do live in a free country
and we do have freedom of choice. Keep in mind however, freedom means that we
abide by the laws that are intended to protect us from harm. Most states have
laws that require the mandatory use of seat belts. Should you choose to ignore
the law, then be prepared to pay the price when you are caught not wearing them.
"I don't wear the belts because they mess up my cloths".
worse, showing up for a date or arriving at work with a few new wrinkles, or not
getting to your destination at all because your dead. Being throne from
vehicles, or becoming a projectile in side the vehicle, during accidents almost
always kill people.
"My vehicle is equipped with an automatic shoulder belt attached to the
door, so I don't have to worry".
called a passive restraint, and you should worry because it will not protect you
from serious injury during an auto
accident. In an accident situation, the force of the crash impact can throw your
body under the shoulder belt leaving you to bounce around inside your vehicle,
or tossing you out. Always, repeat, always wear a properly adjusted lap belt with
your shoulder belt. This goes for all passengers in your vehicle as well.
you will make the right choice and make the use of safety belts a habit. They do
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