How effective are seat belts really?
If you ever feel tempted to doubt the potentially life-saving benefits of seat belts – don’t. Failing to wear a seat belt in a motor vehicle could be one of the worst decisions you ever make. In fact, millions of Americans are suffering from life-altering injuries, or they have died, as a direct result of not using this important piece of safety equipment.
If you need a little more motivation to buckle up the next time you’re in an automobile, consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- The use of a seat belt will lower your risk of dying or getting hurt in the event of a crash by approximately 50 percent.
- In 2016, approximately 15,000 lives were saved by seat belts.
- Airbags alone are not enough to save your life in a crash. The CDC claims that the combined use of seat belts and airbags offers the most protection in the event of a collision.
Are you driving around the corner to buy some milk? Are you taking a short trip to pick up the kids on the other side of the neighborhood? Do you have a stomach ache and the seat belt is mildly uncomfortable? Don’t ever be tempted to refrain from buckling up. Make it a rule for yourself and anyone who gets into your vehicle – and you’ll be doing a great service to yourself, your passengers and society as a whole. Indeed, societal costs of vehicle-related injuries each year amount to tens of billions of dollars in unnecessary expenditures and financial losses.
At the end of the day, regardless of whether or not you were wearing a safety belt, if another party causes you to suffer serious injuries in a vehicle accident, you may want to investigate your legal rights and options. In some cases, victims of car accidents can pursue financial damages in court.