4 Common Seat Belt Myths
Breit Cantor Grana Buckner—September 15, 2017
There are two types of seat belt laws, primary and secondary. Primary seat belt laws allow you to be pulled over and ticketed, while secondary laws enable an officer to pull you over for a different traffic violation and then cite you for not having your seat belt on. Most states require seat belts for both drivers and passengers. In fact, seat belts save about 13,000 lives each year. Despite this statistic, many people continue to neglect using their safety belts while driving. Below, we expose 4 common myths that are used by drivers and passengers to justify not wearing their seatbelts.
Myth #1: Seat Belts Are Uncomfortable
According to research conducted by the Transportation Safety Board, when drivers correctly adjust their safety belts, their complaints of discomfort are significantly reduced. More often than not, complaints related to discomfort and movement restriction are heavily influenced by improper use of the seat belt, not the driver’s prejudice against the safety feature.
Myth #2: Wearing a Seat Belt Only Affects Me
When you don’t wear your seat belt, it affects everybody in the vehicle. Seat belts help motorists maintain body control during a collision. Not wearing your seat belt increases the risk of potential bodily injury to you and any surrounding passengers. More importantly, wearing your safety belt is required by law.
Myth #3: If I Have a Seat-Belt on, I Won’t Be Able to Escape a Crash
The reality of this ill-informed assumption is that seat belts increase your chances of escaping a collision. Safety belts are designed to keep you from being knocked unconscious. It’s much easier to escape a wreck when you are awake and able-bodied than when you’re injured and knocked out cold.
Myth #4: I’d Rather Be Ejected Away from the Wreckage of an Accident
We’ve all seen movies where our favorite star is miraculously thrown clear of the flaming wreckage of a collision, only to walk away with minor scrapes and bruises. In reality, however, you’re 4 times more likely to be fatally injured when thrown from a vehicle.
It is important to get in the habit of wearing your seat belt whenever you drive. Reaching for the safety belt should become second-nature when you enter your vehicle. Now that you are aware of the myths surrounding the use of seat belts, you can educate other drivers about the importance of buckling up whenever they’re on the road.