Everything You Need to Know About Seat Belts

by kwestfall - July 14, 2020
Man fastening his seat belt on the inside of his car

Seat belts are among the most important safety features in motor vehicles. Proper use of seat belts is considered one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. It is quite disturbing that a good number of drivers and adult passengers do not buckle up on every trip, or fail to use seat belts properly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury by 50% and cut the risk of death by 45% among drivers and front-seat passengers. Considering how many lives are saved by seat belts each year, it is important to learn more about them and how to use them properly. We will be brief with the key facts, so read with keen attention.

What Are Seat Belts And What Are The Different Types? 

We all know what seat belts are: the belts that strap drivers and passengers to their seats while driving or riding in a car. They are considered among the most effective safety features of motor vehicles. Depending on how they are designed and used, seat belts are different. The major types are:

  • Lap belts
  • Shoulder belts
  • Three-point belts
  • Automatic seat belts
  • Bet-in-seat (BIS)
  • Five-point harness

What Are The Major Benefits Of Wearing A Seat Belt? 

Seat belts majorly protect drivers and passengers by keeping them secured in their seat during a car crash. The specific benefits include:

  • Ensures users stay inside the vehicle during a crash
  • Prevents users from colliding with any hard component of the car like steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, and others  
  • Decelerates the body during braking
  • Reduces the likelihood of injury or death during a crash
  • Helps avoid getting in trouble with the law

Seat Belt Law 

Seat belt laws are similar across the United States and other countries. Drivers and adult passengers (14 years up) are required by law to wear seat belts while driving or riding in a car. Adult front-seat occupants are especially required to use seatbelts in most places. Police and other law enforcement officers enforce the law strictly in many areas. Children up to three years must never travel without a child restraint. Children between three and 14 will also need some restraints that are age-appropriate. The seat belt in every vehicle must be suitable for maintaining safety: this includes seat belt extenders and adjusters.

How Does A Seat Belt Protect You In A Car Accident? 

The basic function of a seat belt is to secure you in your seat. This is important when your car is involved in a car, as it restrains your momentum. This protects you in many ways during a crash. After a collision, you can unlock your seatbelt and step out when it is safe. Seat belts won’t trap you. In instances of seat belt stuck, a seatbelt cutter can be used.

How Many Lives Are Saved By Seat Belts Each Year? 

It is a proven fact that the proper use of seat belts reduces serious crash-related injuries and deaths by almost half. In the United States alone, seat belts saved more than 15,000 lives in 2016 alone. Nearly every year, an estimated 13,000 lives are saved due to proper seatbelt use. A good number of people who die from car crashes are those who are weren’t using their seatbelts properly.

Wearing a Seat Belt Correctly 

Modern seat belts are generally simple to use. Most people who use seatbelts the wrong way do that intentionally. A good example involves buckling the seat belt while keeping the shoulder portion behind your back. Depending on how your seat belt is made, use it properly. If you are not sure about how to use it, ask someone for directions.

Important Seat Belt Safety Tips to Keep You Safe

Here are essential seat belt safety tips you should follow:

  • Always buckle up before the motor moves and keep the seat belt on until the vehicle is parked
  • Wear lap belts across the hips and below your stomach
  • Wear the shoulder belt over your collarbone and away from your neck
  • Don’t allow children less than 13 years sit in the front passenger seat
  • Secure your young ones in appropriate safety seats before driving
  • Ask for guidance if you don’t understand how to use the seat belt.

Undoubtedly, seat belts can save your life during an accident. It is an integral aspect of safe traveling, whether you are driving or riding as a passenger.

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