Top 5 excuses why people don’t wear seat belts and the factual reasoning behind why they are important.

Drivers and passengers who do not wear seat belts are automatically putting themselves at risk of serious injury. MSN reports the top 5 excuses why people don’t wear seat belts and the factual reasoning behind why they are important.

  • If I am involved in an accident, I will have a better chance of survival because I will be thrown clear of the car.
    1. False: You’re far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if you’re ejected from your vehicle. In 2014, about 80 percent of occupants ejected from vehicles were killed. By design, seat belts are meant to keep you contained in your vehicle during a crash.
  • I don’t need to buckle up to drive a few blocks away. When I’m on the highway I will wear my seat belt, because most crashes occur at high speeds.
    1. False: Most car crashes occur at less than 40 mph. And most fatal crashes occur within 25 miles of your home. It is important that you wear a seat belt even during the shortest trips.
  • My car has airbags, so wearing a seat belt will not provide added protection if I’m in an accident.
    1. False: Airbags are meant to work with seat belts, not replace them. They deploy in a fraction of a second and can hit your face and body at speeds up to 200 mph. In a crash, if you’re not wearing a seat belt, you could be thrown into an airbag as it inflates, which could cause severe injury or death.
  • If my car goes off the road and into a river, I do not want to be trapped in my car because of my seat belt.
    1. False: This type of accident happens in less than 1% of all crashes. The possibility of being trapped by a seat belt that doesn’t release is far less likely to happen than being injured if you’re unbelted and flung around the car.
  • I’m strong enough to brace myself against the steering wheel or dashboard in a collision.
    1. False: An unexpected deceleration of a car in a crash (at just 30 mph) will transform the mass of an unbelted 160-pound person into 12 tons. You may think you are strong enough to brace yourself before an accident, but you cannot predict the onset of a sudden crash.

Wearing a seat belt is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. More than half of the 21,022 occupants who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 were unrestrained at the time of the crash, whereas seat belts saved 12,802 lives in 2014 (CDC).

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