More people than ever are using their seatbelts, so it’s safe to say that the memorable advertising slogan “Click It or Ticket” is working. But don’t let the slogan’s success overshadow the real reasons for wearing your seatbelt.
You can definitely outsmart yourself if you think going another day without a cop citing you for non-belt usage is a good thing. Because even with all the high-tech safety goodies built into today’s cars, all by itself using your seatbelt can make the difference between walking away from an auto body accident and serious injury or death.
So let’s review why you really need to make it a habit to buckle up every time you get into a vehicle, either as a driver or passenger.
Airbags aren’t an alternative
When airbags deploy they’re only inflated for a fraction of second. The purpose is to provide a quick barrier against impact with your steering wheel or dashboard.
But after they’ve done their job, airbags instantly deflate. If your doors have been jarred open and you’re not buckled in, there’s a good chance you’ll be thrown out of the car.
Remember this: you’re 25 times more likely to die in a traffic accident if you’re thrown from your car than if you’re strapped inside!
Unbelted passengers injure each other
Many serious injuries are caused by occupants not wearing seatbelts who collide with others inside the vehicle – belted or not. In a crash, occupants tend to move toward the point of impact, not away from it. People in the front seat are often struck by unbelted people in the back seat. In a crash, they become projectiles, and when two heads collide, both are at risk for a serious injury.
Seatbelts protect you during the “third collision”
Collision 1 is your vehicle’s impact with something outside. Collision 2 is when your body hits something inside the car. The third collision happens inside your body, when your internal organs hit other organs or your skeletal system.
During a crash, a properly fastened seatbelt spreads the forces of an accident over larger and stronger parts of your body, like the chest, hips and shoulders. This reduces the chances that the force of rapid deceleration will be more uniform over your entire body.