Seatbelts Are Effective Cont'd

One excuse for not buckling up on city streets is the belief that non-highway collisions aren’t as serious. However, studies show that about 80% of auto accidents occur at speeds of less than 40 mph and that chances of death or injury at low speeds when the driver is unbelted are three times greater than for belted drivers. About 75% of motor vehicle accidents occur within 25 miles of home. 

Deaths of motor vehicle occupants have occurred at speeds as low as 12 mph, about the speed you might drive in a supermarket parking lot. 

An excuse for not buckling up on the highway is that collisions at 60 mph or more are usually not survivable, whether or not occupants are buckled up. That argument disregards the fact that, in the seconds before a collision, the driver of a vehicle traveling 60 mph usually brakes, reducing the crash speed substantially and increasing the chances of survivability for those wearing belts. 

Another excuse for not buckling up is that “My seat belt doesn’t work, so I don’t wear it.” Sometimes this excuse is caused by a misunderstanding of the mechanics of seat belts which permit freedom of movement under ordinary conditions but lock in an emergency. Test this by quickly trying to pull the belt out of the retracting unit during a controlled quick. 

Car crashes are the leading cause of child deaths in the United States. The motor vehicle death rate for children under six months old is 9 per 100,000 people. The motor vehicle death rate for youngsters 6 through 12 is about 3 per 100,000. 

An NHTSA report reveals that only about 35% of child seats are used properly. 

All states have child safety seat laws. 

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