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Why People Don’t Wear Seat BeltsThose who avoid seat belt use have a litany of excuses why they choose not to wear seat belts, such as:
- Seat belts are inconvenient or uncomfortable. A little inconvenience is a small price to pay for the benefits you could potentially reap by wearing your seat belt, and those who wear a seat belt regularly find the discomfort fades and it becomes a habit.
- The car has air-bags—I don’t need a safety belt. It is important for motorists to realize that air bags provide only supplemental protection, and that serious injuries can occur among those who fail to buckle up in the event of a crash. The impact of an airbag coming toward a passenger at 200 mph when the passenger is not restrained by a seat belt and is moving toward the airbag can result in serious injury or death.
- I could be trapped in a fire or underwater. In fact, crashes which involve water or fire only make up about 0.5% of all automobile accidents, and even in those crashes that do involve fire or water, it is essential that you remain conscious and uninjured in order to extricate yourself.
- My seat belt could injure me if I crash. Seat belts which are worn in the manner they are intended almost never cause injury other than superficial bruises. Without a seat belt you risk being thrown out of the vehicle, sustaining serious or fatal injuries.
- It would be better to be thrown clear in a crash. Being thrown gently from your car during an accident, landing in a soft grassy lawn never happens. Your chances of survival go up dramatically by buckling up.
- I’m just going to the grocery store. Most automobile deaths occur within 25 miles of home and at lower speeds of less than 40 mph. You stand just as great a risk of being in an accident when you are going out to pick the kids up from school as you do on your commute to work or on longer trips.
- I’m a good driver. This may certainly be true, but you have absolutely no control over all the other drivers who share the road with you. Perhaps a tired driver nods off and is suddenly in your lane coming right at you. Or maybe the driver next to you is reading a text and veers into your lane. There are hundreds of scenarios which can result in a serious accident—that have nothing to do with your driving ability.