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How do seat belts decrease risks in accidents?

by | Aug 25, 2023 | Fatal Motor Vehicle Accidents

The National Safety Council reported that seat belts can decrease the risk a front-seat occupant dying in an auto accident by 45%. That is an extreme number for doing something as simple as strapping into the vehicle using a readily available safety device. The truth is that everyone in a vehicle can benefit from using their seat belts.
Why seat belts save lives

A simple law of physics says an object in motion stays in motion. This means that passengers continue moving forward, potentially colliding with the windshield, dashboard or other parts of the car’s interior, when the vehicle comes to a stop in a crash. Seat belts, however, serve as an important restraint system that keeps occupants firmly in place, preventing them from freely moving around within the vehicle.

Other ways seat belts protect
Seat belts play a pivotal role in preventing ejection from the vehicle during a collision. Imagine a scenario where a car flips over due to impact. Without a seat belt, the chances of ejection from the vehicle increase significantly, exposing occupants to even greater danger. A seat belt acts as a safeguard, keeping passengers within the protective confines of the car. In frontal collisions, seat belts distribute the force of impact across the stronger parts of the body, such as the chest and pelvis. This spreading of force minimizes the concentrated impact, which can substantially reduce the risk of life-threatening injuries, such as skull fractures or internal organ damage. Additionally, seat belts work in conjunction with other safety features, like airbags, to enhance protection. Airbags deploy in tandem with seat belts locking to cushion the impact and prevent occupants from striking hard surfaces. It is worth noting that seat belt usage is not just a matter of personal safety. It can also influence the safety of others in the vehicle. Unrestrained passengers can become projectiles during an accident, posing a danger not only to themselves but also to fellow occupants. In a world where vehicle accidents can happen unexpectedly, the act of buckling up can make all the difference between life and death.