Safety Belt Use
There is absolutely no doubt that the single most effective thing that every vehicle occupant can do to help save their own life if they have an accident, is to wear their safety belt. Safety belts hold the occupant, preventing ejection from the car and hitting an outside obstacle. The forces at play in even an average low speed accident are tremendous and people who think they can restrain themselves by firmly holding the steering wheel would have to be able to lift a mass equivalent to more than 30 times their own, which clearly would be superhuman!
Many vehicles are now equipped with most sophisticated safety belt technologies, such as pre-tensioners (tightening the belt in the very early phases of the accident – or even before the accident occurs!) and energy absorbing belts (gradually absorbing the deceleration energy, thereby avoiding chest compression).
More and more vehicles are therefore also equipped with safety belt reminder systems, reminding the driver of the need to buckle up, even for very short trips.
No matter how many other safety features manufacturers provide in addition to the safety belt – airbags, bolsters, crush zones, crash avoidance systems, etc:
- wearing your safety belt can save your life!
- not wearing your safety belt is just plain foolish!