It’s easy to take for granted the act of wearing a seatbelt. Sometimes, it can even be an afterthought to wear them if you’re not in a tough part of the road. However, the seemingly flimsy piece of fabric attached to a fastening mechanism can be what separates you from minor whiplash to certain death.
Your car’s seat belts are a crucial part of your vehicle’s Supplemental Restraint System (SRS). It’s just as crucial as your proximity sensors and airbags in ensuring that you’re safe from the risk of car collisions. In this article, we’ll guide you through how a seatbelt secures your safety while inside a moving or stopped vehicle.
The seatbelt’s contribution to your safety and security
Although seat belt laws vary from state to state, drivers are legally required to keep their seat belts on while they’re inside the vehicle. It’s necessary regardless if it will take you a few hours or minutes to arrive at your destination.
During a car crash, seat belts reduce the impact your body experiences dramatically. It contributes to lessening the risk you put yourself in when you’re in the driving seat. When you experience a car crash, your car may stop moving, but your body will still experience forward momentum. This means that the force of the collision will push your body from the direction of the impact. In a worst-case scenario, it can push you outside your windshield if you don’t wear your seat belt.
The three-point seatbelt forms the letter “Y” that disperses your body’s momentum around your chest, shoulders, and pelvis. Although the seatbelt’s grip can make you sore or bruised from the sudden impact, it’s a much better scenario than crashing out of your car.
The benefits of wearing a seatbelt
The most obvious benefit of wearing a three-point seatbelt is that it keeps you in place during an accident. During a car crash, it’s your primary goal to survive the initial impact. The three-point seatbelt prevents you from colliding in nearby surfaces like the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield.
Besides keeping you safe from serious head trauma, it also prevents you from experiencing a severe case of whiplash that can damage your head and spine. These injuries can inflict permanent paralysis or even be fatal, depending on your circumstances. Wearing your seat belt can slow you down even if you experience a sudden change in speed due to a car collision.
The proper way to wear a seatbelt
To ensure that you're secure while wearing your seatbelt, it’s necessary to put it on the right way. After buckling up, you need to ensure that the shoulder portion of the belt is in front. You may experience slight discomfort in wearing both the shoulder and lap portion. However, keeping only the lap part of the seatbelt puts you at increased risk of injury to your upper body. Thankfully, modern seat belts make it almost impossible to wear it the wrong way.
Staying safe while being on the road requires your vigilance to observe other drivers and your responsibility of watching your own habits. The best way to avoid any severe injuries during car collisions is to ensure that you’re following the necessary safety regulations mandated by law, such as wearing your seatbelt at all times.
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