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The Pros and Cons of the Seatbelt

For the vast majority of us, we belt up out of long-term habit. The importance of wearing one was emphasised whilst we learnt to drive. The effects of wearing seatbelts have been examined through extensive case studies and research. However, there are still many drivers among us who forgo belting up every time. With our modern cars and new safety devices do we still need to belt up every time anyway?

Alarming Current Trends

A worrying trend has been noticed in recent driving research. Both drivers and passengers, between the ages of 17 and 34, have been highlighted as the highest risk of accidents on the road. Alarmingly this falls into the same group who are most likely to forgo their seatbelts. Neglecting belting during shorter familiar journeys seems to be the main cultrate.

Crash test research speaks for itself. In the event of an accident it has been found that it is twice as likely to be fatal without a secured seatbelt. Remember, accidents are just as likely to occur in any journey you take.

Donít Forget the Law

For anyone who wasnít already aware, for drivers in the United Kingdom it is illegal to drive or travel in a car without your seatbelt fastened.

Anyone caught breaking this law faces a £100 on the spot fine! For cases taken to court, you could potentially end up paying a maximum of £500.

If the financial pain is not enough to dissuade you, consider the great lengths the government goes to decrease accident rates and deaths on the road. This law is in place to protect us, even if itís from our own overconfidence.

What about Airbags?

The majority of cars now have at least one airbag fitted to protect us in the event of a crash. Yet, this does not make the seatbelt redundant by any means. In the event of a crash your seatbelt will prevent you from sliding underneath an airbag and nullifying its protection.

In the event of a rollover or rear shunt your airbags are not going to provide you ample protection alone. Wearing your seatbelt keeps you securely within you seat during any type of accident. An airbag merely offers supplemental protection in specific conditions.

Can the Seatbelt Trap Me?

Those objecting to use their seatbelt often exclaim they donít want to get trapped in their car if they have an accident. Realistically any accidents involving submersion in water or a blazing fire are rare. In any case, the greatest danger during these accidents is the shocking impact you receive. Without a fastened seatbelt this is only going to be much worse. Itís wise is to belt up and stay conscious, then you can simply undo your seatbelt to escape.

Forgoing your seatbelt in the hopes of being projected out of your car into safety away is simply dreaming. A graceful exit with a soft landing would be like winning the lottery. Better to stay securely inside the protective shell of your vehicle with help from your seatbelt.

Canít a Seatbelt Hurt Me Too?

A correctly adjusted and fastened seatbelt is not going to cause you serious injury. However, it is common to receive minor surface injuries as the belt holds you back during a collision. Consider this as a small sacrifice for your greater wellbeing by keeping you safely inside the car.

Regardless of our advances in vehicle safety technology, we must still use our seatbelts to provide essential protection during an accident.† Even the most talented of drivers†on their regular roads, cannot control the behaviour of other road users. For your own safety you should continue to reach for your belt for every journey.

Driving Tips  08/09/2015 09:18:56

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