How does a seatbelt protect you?
Everyone in Pennsylvania has heard the phrase, “buckle up,” countless times. But have you ever wondered exactly how seatbelts work to reduce the severity of injuries in car accidents?
It still stands that more people can be educated on the matter, as according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, one in 10 people still did not wear their seatbelts when driving or riding in a motor vehicle in 2018. Additionally, fewer people wear their seatbelts in the back seat, with only three out of every four people buckling up.
In SUVs and other larger passenger vehicles, people wearing seatbelts are 65% less likely to be seriously injured and 60% less likely to die. In other passenger cars, the risk of injury is 50% lower with seatbelts fastened and the risk of death is reduced by 45%.
How does a seatbelt work?
The main thing that works in favor of seatbelts is inertia. When a car in motion suddenly stops, every unsecured object and person in the vehicle—including you—continues moving at the same speed the car was going.
In fact, seatbelts don’t just protect you. If you are in the back seat and not wearing a seatbelt, it is 137% more likely for the driver to die as a result of your body colliding with him or her.
Beyond this, you are more likely to suffer serious trauma if you are ejected from the vehicle, and almost twice as likely to die. Seatbelts don’t just keep you from being ejected—they are designed to soften the impact of a crash by spreading it across the stronger parts of your body. Buckling up protects you and everyone else in the car.