Nowadays, many people do not understand the importance of seat belts. More than forty thousand reported deaths are caused from car accidents each year. Various researches have shown that more than half of these deaths, more than twenty thousand lives, can be saved if the drivers/passengers wore seat belts. Many people, even after knowing these statistics still refuse to wear seat belts while driving as most of them think that seat belts actually do not help and can even be negative in case of an accident.
This is why it is extremely important for everybody to understand why seat belts are important and why they must be worn at all times during traveling in a car. It would be useful to understand exactly what a seat belt does in order to save lives. Seat belts work to stop the person from hitting other parts of the car during collision. A person traveling in a car traveling at 15 miles per hour is also traveling at the same speed. If the car was to stop suddenly (as in case of a collision), the person would still be moving inside the car and will continue to move until something (the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield) stops him/her.
A person traveling at 30 miles per hour would hit these objects in the same manner as he/she would have hit the pavement falling from a 3-storey building. A seat belt is worn across the lap and shoulders/hip bones and is designed to tighten upon impact, stopping the body with the car. This stops the person from going forward in case of an accident. Yet, even after knowing this, most of the drivers refuse to wear seat belts while driving. A lot of people believe that they do not need seat belts and that they actually, really do not work.
Many people do not wear seat belts if they are ‘just going to the grocery store’ when almost eighty percent of traffic death occur within 25 miles of a person’s home who was driving at a speed less than 40 miles per hour. Also, many people believe that a seat belt shall delay their escape from the car in case of an accident when it has been proven that the best place to be after an accident is inside your car; a person is 25 times more likely to die if he/she is thrown out of the car.
This is why many states have legislations that have made seat belt use mandatory while driving and traveling in a car. 49 US states now require adults to wear seat belts while driving, although this legislation has been a source of a lot of controversy. Even though hospital based studies of car accidents victims and survivors have shown that seat belts do actually reduce the risk of death during an accident. However, other studies have shown that people who wear seat belts have a ‘feeling of security’ and thus they drive faster and with more carelessness than if they were not wearing seat belts.
Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that seat belts do save lives and many of the states have made it mandatory to wear seat belts while traveling in a car. How many people actually wear them is another issue. Even though many people are aware of the risks involved in not wearing a seat belt, many of them continue to disregard them. This is because they either do not have enough confidence in the use of seat belts, or that they do not actually understand their importance.
Even though many states have strict seat belt wearing laws, many people are still debating upon the effectiveness of such laws. Whatever the argument may be, it is common sense that wearing seat belts do stop the body with the car, saving it from hitting anything at a high speed. It is up to you to either choose common sense and wear seat belts, or to be foolish and think that they really do not work. I have made my choice, and I choose to be safer than sorry.