Imagine yourself running as fast as you can and suddenly something looms up. What would happen? You think you would able to dodge that thing? But the answer is pretty much no and as a result you would definitely get knocked up. This same situation occurs when the car crashes with another vehicle. Within the first tenth of a second the car stops, but as we are also going with the same speed, so to stop ourselves, we need something, either a dashboard, or steering, in case we are not wearing a seat belt. Seat belts protect driver and passengers from bouncing around, avoid hitting surfaces such as windshield, windows, and doors. They control passenger’s movement and hold them in their place.
Sometimes wearing seat belts during long journey seems frustrating, but they are important because on road we are not driving alone. We share the road with those, who all are not driving expert neither everyone abide by road rules. So, when encountered with any unwanted situation, seat belts come handy. During accident, drivers not wearing seat belts are thrown out of the car due to the force of the impact of collision and as a result bang with other moving objects which sometimes results in serious injuries and deaths. Wearing a seat belt increases the chances to survive in a car accident by 50%.
The history of seat belts goes back in 19th century, when George Cayley bought the idea of seat belt. However, it was Edward J. Claghorn who granted the first patent for seat belts. In 1959, Nils Ivar Bohlin invented three-point seat belt, modern form of seat belt. It was introduced with the purpose to protect the body and chest using both diagonal and lap harness in combination.
It is an extra feature if the vehicle has air bags, but still they can’t be use as a substitute for seat belts. Seat belts work in conjunction with air bags. Seat belt keeps passengers in their place, and air bag slows the movement of passengers with minimum injury at the time of accident. One can never ignore the worth of seat belts, no matter how expensive the car is, nor how many advanced safety features it have.
Along with the above stated benefits, there are other benefits also that are associated with wearing a seat belt. Seat belts are designed to protect two important areas, i.e. brain and spinal cord. It is quite difficult to see head injuries easily, but they can have serious effects, for instance spinal cord injuries. Wearing a seat belt is not enough, but to buckle it correctly is also important. The strap should go across the lap and must fit comfortably over hips and lower thigh areas. Remember, never let the strap to fall on the neck, face nor on the place behind the back or under arms.
Children are not as strong as adults so extra protection is required on them in a moving vehicle. According to the age of children, there are seat belts for them such as children below the age of 1 year, should wear rear-facing child safety belt, while children above 1 year should wear forward-facing child safety belt. Children of 4 years and above should ride in boosters seats. For the benefit of children, they should sit in the rear seat of the car until they reach the age of 13.
Today, as per the road rules it is mandatory to wear seat belts in almost all countries. But still many driver and passengers avoid wearing seat belts on everyday occasions. Irrespective of the age or common placement in the vehicle one should wear the seat belt. Don’t believe on the myths such that seat belt will trap you inside the car during accidents as there is extremely little percent of accidents that involves fire or submersion in water. So, with that slight percent, it is indeed more dangerous to drive without wearing a seat belt. It is also a misconception that there is no need to wear a seat belt when one is travelling for a short distance. According to statistics, 75% of accidents occur within 25 miles of home. Not wearing seat belt put people under serious risk of injury at the time of crash.
Even if you’re in hurry to get to somewhere or you’re just driving around the city, remember to put a seat belt. Buckling a seat belt is a most simple way that can literally saves one’s life. Never overlooked seat belt under any circumstances. And even if you are among the one who avoids wearing seat belts, then it is still not too late. It is better to spend few seconds on fastening the seat belt, than to regret about forgetting to fasten it.