October 19, 2017

Saving Lives and Money with Seat Belts

Friday, August 22nd, 2008 2:43 pm

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Saving Lives and Money with Seat BeltsHave you ever got into the seat of your vehicle and thought “I am just going on a short drive, I don’t need to wear my seatbelt?”  The reality is that, no matter how short your drive will be, you put your life at risk when you get behind the wheel of your car without strapping in.  Similarly, you are allowing your passengers to take a great risk if you don’t insist upon having them wear a seatbelt.

In addition to the potential harm that you and your passengers may incur when driving without a seatbelt, failure to wear seatbelts has also lead to increased insurance rates.  In fact, according to research, literally millions of dollars could be saved each year if everyone would buckle up when they get insi de a vehicle.

Looking at the Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seatbelts were able to prevent 135,000 deaths and 3.8 million injuries between the years of 1876 and 2002.  In all, this saved $585 billion in medical costs.  The National Traffic Safety Administration has also estimated that, if everyone involved in an accident during that time had been wearing a seatbelt, an additional 315,000 deaths and another 5.2 million injuries likely would have been prevented.  By preventing these deaths and injuries, another $913 billion could have been saved.  By saving this money, the cost of your insurance rates could have been kept lower.

Properly Wearing a Seatbelt 

In order to obtain the life-saving and money saving effects of seatbelts, it is important for you to wear your seatbelt properly.  First of all, the seatbelt should be kept low and snug across your lap or pelvis.  In addition, you should never wear your seatbelt across your stomach or wear the shoulder strap behind your back or in front of your face.  Rather, you should wear the shoulder strap snugly across your collarbone and chest. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that it is important to continue wearing your seatbelt even if your vehicle is equipped with air bags.  Remember, air bags and seatbelts are designed to work together.  As such, the air bag is not designed to be used in place of the seatbelt.  It is also important to remember to keep children under the age of 12 properly bucked in their seats and in child safety seats if necessary.

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