Motor vehicle fatalities are a leading cause of injury and death among those under age 55 in the United States. Deaths caused by automobile-related crashes in the United States occur mainly to front-seat passengers.
If you look at the statistics published by the Transportation Board and the CDC, the numbers are staggering. In the past few years, death-related crashes show that more than 50% of those who died in crashes were not buckled up and were between the ages of 13 and 45.
So why do some people not wear their seat belts? Some people don't like to be told what to do, and some just plain forget. However, none of these are valid excuses. It is the law in most states and a driving violation if you do not wear your seat belt. Secondly, almost all newer model cars now have warning systems to alert you to buckle up.
Think about this. If someone like your auto insurance company representative said they would pay you to buckle up, almost everyone would probably do it. The fact is that you are paying them for not buckling up, because every injury and fatality that occurs from not being fastened in becomes a statistic that the insurance companies use to adjust your premiums. So, as fatalities and injury statistics go up, your premiums do, too.
Since not all states have a seat belt law enforcement, today's automobile manufacturers can only do so much to try and help. The annoying warning bells and alerts help some and what many people don't realize is that your vehicle's OBD computer is like a black box that records almost all operational data points as soon as you start your car. So if you happen to be unfortunate enough to be in a severe crash that causes injury or death, most likely, it will become a known statistic that will be used as just another data point that all of us will end up paying in our insurance premiums.
Let's look at the benefits of wearing your seat belt rather than why some prefer not to:
· Seat belts provide a level of protection for everyone, including your passengers and other motorists: a known and proven statistic.
· Seat belts protect you from being ejected from the car, thrown through the windshield or door, and even airbag deployment.
· Seat belts work in conjunction with your airbags to keep you in place in the event of a collision. Without being restrained by a seat belt, you will be hit with a force that could cause injury or even kill.
· Seat belts may reduce the risk of being fined if you're stopped in a state that requires them by law.
· Seat belts reduce the risk of severe injury or death by more than 50% - another known statistic.
· Seat belts can save you money on your insurance premiums.
· Seat belts can help prevent you from being denied insurance coverage or claims made if your policy states that personal restraints are mandatory for coverage.
Rather than being careless, carefree, or just blatantly stubborn about wearing your seat belt, let's just use some common sense that benefits everyone and buckle up. It's only one simple extra step to do before starting your car, and it could save your life or the lives of your loved ones.