Why Use Safety Belts


Why Safety Belts?

To understand the value of safety belt use, it's important to understand some of the dynamics of a crash. Every motor vehicle crash is actually comprised of three collisions.

The Car's Collision
The first collision is known as the car's collision, which causes the car to buckle and bend as it hits something and comes to an abrupt stop. This occurs in approximately one-tenth of a second. The crushing of the front end absorbs some of the force of the crash and cushions the rest of the car. As a result, the passenger compartment comes to a more gradual stop than the front of the car.

The Human Collision
The second collision occurs as the car's occupants hit some part of the vehicle. At the moment of impact, unbelted occupants are still travelling at the vehicle's original speed. Just after the vehicle comes to a complete stop, these unbelted occupants will slam into the steering wheel, the windshield, or some other part of the vehicle interior. This is the human collision.

Another form of human collision is the person-to-person impact. Many serious injuries are caused by unbelted occupants colliding with each other. 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 rear-seat passengers who have become high-speed projectiles.

The Internal Collision
Even after the occupant's body comes to a complete stop, the interal organs are still moving forward. Suddenly, these organs hit other organs or the skeletal system. This third collision is the internal collision and often causes serious or fatal injuries.

So, Why Safety Belts?
During a crash, properly fastened safety belts distribute the forces of rapid deceleration over larger and stronger parts of the person's body, such as the chest, hips and shoulders. The safety belt stretches slightly to slow your body down and to increase its stopping distance.

The difference between the belted person's stopping distance and the unbelted person's stopping distance is significant. It's often the difference between life and death.

And in the State Of Ohio ~ It is the LAW!

Excerpts from "Sudden Impact," NHTSA, 1992.

Contact the National Safety Belt Coalition at 1025 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 1200, Washington, DC 20036

Fairy Tales About Seat Belts

"I don't need a safety belt when I'm traveling at low speeds or going on a short trip."

You can't believe every story flying around these days. The truth is that ALL driving can be dangerous.

More than 80 per cent of all accidents occur at speeds less than 40 mph. Fatalities involving non-belted occupants of cars have been recorded at as low as 12 mph. That's about the speed you'd be driving in a parking lot.

Three out of four accidents causing death occur within 25 miles of home. Belt up before driving to your shopping center - just as you would for a long trip.

"When I have my lap belt fastened, I don't need to fasten my shoulder belt."

Don't be left with egg on your face --- or worse. It's true that a lap belt will protect you from serious injury. But a shoulder belt provides important additional protection. During a crash, a shoulder belt keeps your head and chest from striking the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield.

A lap AND shoulder belt offers you the best possible protection in the event of a crash.

"I might be saved if I'm thrown clear of the car in an accident."

Rubbish! The fact is that your chances of being killed are almost 25 times greater if you're thrown from the car. The forces in a collision can be great enough to fling you as much as 150 feet --about 15 car lengths.

Safety belts can keep you from:

In almost any collision, you're better off being held inside the car by safety belts.

"If I wear a safety belt, I might be trapped in a burning or submerged car!"

Fiddlesticks! Less than one-half of 1 per cent of all injury-producing collisions involve fire or submersion. But if fire or submersion does occur, wearing a safety belt can save your life.

If you're involved in a crash without your safety belt, you might be stunned or knocked unconscious by striking the interior of the car. Then your chances of getting out of a burning or submerged car would be far less.

You're better off wearing a safety belt at all times in a car. With safety belts, you're more likely to be unhurt, alert and capable of escaping quickly.

"It takes too much time and trouble to fasten my safety belt."

Now there's a fairy tale that's an earful. In reality, fastening your safety belt may take some time and trouble -- but not too much.

It all depends on

That much time and trouble you can live with -- if you want to live.

"I'm uncomfortable and too confined when I wear a safety belt."

Belts are designed to allow you to reach necessary driving controls, and the newer shoulder belt retractors give you even more freedom. When reaching for things that will take you away from the steering wheel, it's safer to pull off the road or ask your passenger to help.

You'll probably find that any initial discomfort caused by safety belts soon goes away. Eventually, you may even feel MORE comfortable wearing safety belts.

A fairy may live forever, but you won't.
So do all you can to live longer.
-Forget the fairy tales and BUCKLE UP.


It's More Than A Law.
It's A Lifesaver.