The 6 Most Common Seat Belt Myths

Seat belt laws are classified into primary and secondary types: Primary allows you to be pulled over and ticketed for not wearing your seat belt, while secondary only allows an officer to pull you over for a different violation such as speeding, and then you can be ticketed for not wearing your seat belt. There are some limitations and exceptions but for the most part, states require that drivers and passengers wear seat belts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Statistics show that this is for a good reason: Seat belts save over 13,000 lives every year.

Many people still refuse to wear seat belts due to personal prejudices against them. The following are six seat belt myths and the facts that disprove them.

Myth 1: Safety belts are uncomfortable and restrict movement.

Fact 1: The Transportation Safety Board conducted a research study that discovered that driver’s avoided wearing seat belts becuase they thought they were uncomfortable and restrictive. However, once the seat belts were correctly adjusted, drivers found that both of these issues were alleviated.

Myth 2: Wearing a seat belt is a personal decision that doesn’t affect anyone.

Fact 2: The act of not wearing a seat belt can certainly affect your family and loved ones if you’re injured in a crash. Plus it can also affect other motorists since wearing a safety belt can actually help you avoid losing control of your vehicle during an accident. Not to mention, it’s also the law: Both Federal and State regulations require commercial vehicle drivers to buckle up.

Myth 3: Safety belts prevent you from escaping your vehicle during a crash.

Fact 3: Safety belts can actually keep you from being knocked unconscious which will improve your chances of escaping during an accident.

Myth 4: It’s better to be thrown clear of the wreckage during an accident.

Fact 4: You’re actually four times as likely to be fatally injured when thrown from a vehicle.

Myth 5: It takes too much time to fasten your safety belt 20 times per day.

Fact 5: Buckling up usually only takes about three seconds, which means that even if you have to buckle up 20 times a day that only adds up to one minute.

Myth 6: Safety belts are unnecessary for when I’m driving at low speeds.

truck driving safety

Fact 6: If you experience a frontal collision driving at 30 mph, if you’re un-belted, your body continues to travel forward into the vehicle’s frontal interior components, (steering wheel, instrument panel, windshield) at 30 mph. This is actually the same velocity a person falling from the top of a three story building would experience when they come in contact with the ground.

Wearing your seat belt should be second-nature, a natural part of your driving routine. Seat belts help save lives and make the roadway a safer place for drivers and passengers alike. Hopefully discounting these common myths and educating drivers about the risk they face every time they drive without buckling up will help increase the number of people who make the conscious choice to always wear their seat belts.

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