Road accidents can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere. With so many dangers on the road, seat belts are your best defense against fatal injuries. Authorities have been constantly reminding drivers about the importance of buckling up. But to gain some perspective, here are some facts you may not know about using a seat belt.
Proof That Seat Belts Save Lives
Even if cars' features continue to improve, seat belts will always be a life-saving precaution. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts have saved 374,196 lives between 1975 and 2017. They help lower the risk of mortality by 45 percent and the risk of serious injury by 50 percent among drivers and front-seat passengers. In the US, Hawaii has the highest seat belt usage rate with 97 percent, California with the highest rate in the continental US at 96 percent, while South Dakota has the lowest at only 75 percent.
Unfortunately, many lives have been lost as a result of roadside collisions. However, according to the NHTSA, wearing a seat belt may have saved 2,549 more lives in 2017. In 2019, 47 percent of the 22,215 passengers who died in car accidents were also not wearing seatbelts.
Furthermore, despite fewer cars on the road due to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board reported an increase in speed-related collisions including the failure to utilize seat belts. From these figures and data, it is clear that wearing a seatbelt saves lives.
The Importance of Seat Belts
Inclement weather, construction zones, lane closures, and careless driving can all contribute to an increased chance of a car accident on the road. Wearing seat belts is one thing drivers can do to protect themselves, providing them an inherent edge when it comes to coming home safely. And it is worth noting that the national seat belt use was at 90.7 percent by 2019, which shows great improvement.
Their invention dates back to the 1800s, and seat belts remain important until today. One study by the NHTSA shows that seat belts alone are credited for saving a total of 329,715 lives. This means that it has saved more lives than all other safety measures, including vehicle airbags, electronic stability control, power steering, and anti-lock brakes, combined.
Some additional benefits of seat belts include preventing you from being ejected from the vehicle, protecting you from the life-threatening force of an airbag, ensuring the continued safety of everyone in the car, and reducing your car insurance rates.
Risks of Driving Without a Seat Belt
Thousands upon thousands of drivers die needlessly each year as a result of not wearing their seat belts. But it isn't simply grownups who are affected. According to studies, 262 children aged 8 to 12 who died in vehicle accidents in 2016 were not wearing seat belts. It is unfortunate knowing that seat belts saved over 15,000 lives in the same year.
Newer cars feature cutting-edge safety technology, but one element that will never go away is the seat belt. In the case of an accident, a seat belt is meant to keep drivers and passengers secured in their vehicles. They are especially important because being thrown out of your car results in fatal injuries. The shoulder belt should never be put behind your back or under your arm when using a seat belt.
If you are looking for someone to fix your seat belt after a collision, RepairMySRS is an accident restoration company specializing in resetting SRS airbag modules and seat belt repairs on retractors, tensioners, and buckles. We provide our services nationwide using our bulletproof mail-in system, which guarantees a 24-hour turnaround. Get in touch with our team now!