Thousands of people die each day in vehicle accidents because they were not wearing a seatbelt. According to the laws of physics, if a vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour, its contents and passengers are also moving at 30 miles per hour. The vehicle’s sudden stop at 30 miles per hour can mean the difference of life or death to everyone inside.
Dangers of not wearing a seatbelt
People are a vehicle’s most valuable content and seatbelts keep them in place. In a crash, unbelted passengers will fly toward the point of impact, colliding with anything in their path, like the dashboard, windshield, or steering wheel, with several pounds of moving force. While it’s dangerous to smash into a dashboard or windshield, it can be deadly to be “thrown clear.” Thrown clear of what? Telephone poles, trees, or oncoming traffic? Thrown through what? The windshield or door? Airborne objects maintain momentum as they sail, without the option of where or how they land. In a collision, passengers launched from a vehicle are 25 times more likely to die.
Benefits of wearing a seatbelt
In a vehicle accident, the safest place to be is inside the vehicle, attached to the vehicle’s seat. It’s the seatbelt that keeps passengers in place. In a collision, the one part of the vehicle that stays reasonably intact, no matter how battered its outsides might be, is the vehicle’s seats.
For high speeds, nighttime driving, and bad weather many drivers and passengers do buckle up, but the fact is that most fatalities occur in dry, sunny weather, at speeds under 40 miles per hour and within 25 miles of work or home. Perhaps you’re a safe driver in control of your vehicle, but there are a lot of other drivers not in control of their vehicles, drivers who’ve had too much to drink, not had enough sleep, or didn’t see the light change. You can’t control them. Seatbelts are your best protection against those drivers. In California, wearing seatbelts is the law. Buckle up and protect yourself so you don’t become another statistic in the accident and fatality records.