Why You Should Use Seat Belts

Over 1.2 million people are killed in road collisions every year all over the world. More than 50 million are injured. But even with those startlingly high numbers, nearly a fifth of those casualties could’ve arguably been prevented. That’s because nearly a fifth of those people weren’t wearing seatbelts.

Outside of car brakes themselves, seat belts are easily the most conventional of automobile safety measures. In fact, the first seat belt can be dated as far back as the 19th century. But it wouldn’t be until the 1970s that the first compulsory seat belt law would be passed.

For a majority of us, seat belts are pretty much a force of habit. But for others, it can feel like a major inconvenience. But there’s a reason why seat belts are still as widely used today as they were decades ago.

Safety has always been a top concern for car manufacturers. In-vehicle safety advancements have come a long way to prove that. Front airbags are now standard-fare among modern cars and complex auto-braking systems have made accidental collisions that much easier to avoid. But nothing has come close to replacing the traditional seat belt.

Unfortunately, people still come up with reasons to take off or keep off their seat belts entirely. Here are a few of the most common arguments against seat belts and reasons why we should still keep them on.

I don’t need seat belts when I have airbags.

This is probably the most common argument used against seat belts. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) points out that airbags are really only effective when used in conjunction with seat belts. In fact, air bags have been known to increase the effectiveness of seat belts by up to 50%.

I don’t need to strap on my seat belt if I’m not going very far.

A lot of people don’t take the time to strap on their seat belt if they aren’t driving very far. But statistically, this may be the most important time to put on your seat belt. This is because 80% of all road fatalities occur no more than 25 miles away from home and usually under 40 miles an hour. A short trip to the store can end up in a neck-breaking fender bender if you aren’t careful.

I just have to loosen up my seat belt for a few seconds to reach for something.

This is a popular excuse from drivers who need to reach for something in their car. Realizing that their seat belt is restricting their range of motion, they end up not only unstrapping their seat belt but taking their eyes off the road. This becomes a two-fold safety hazard because you not only open yourself up to injury without a seat belt on, you court disaster by not focusing on your driving.

I might get trapped by seat belt if I’m in accident.

Hollywood has depicted seat belts rather inaccurately over the years by stranding innocent motorists in their own cars. But all things considered, a seat belt will prevent you from flying straight out of your car during a high-speed collision, increasing your chances of survival by keeping you inside of it.