Avoid the Risk – Wear Your Seatbelt! (Guest Post)

Don Elfrink is the owner and operator of AutoMatStore, an auto flooring company based out Columbia, Missouri. Before AutoMatStore, Elfrink was the operator of an automotive production site. AutoMatStore focuses on logo, carpeted, molded and all weather floor mats. 

Staying safe while on the road requires more than just ensuring that your car is in good shape and being an observant driver. It also requires that you pay attention to safety laws – one of the most important of which is to wear your seatbelt. Seatbelt use is mandatory in almost all 50 states in most situations (there are some instances where you’re not required to wear them). However, even if you don’t have to wear one, it’s still a good idea to buckle up. Why should you go through the discomfort and hassle of wearing one? Here are some pretty convincing reasons.

Don’t Become a Statistic

Wearing a seatbelt is vital to saving your life. While there are documented cases where not wearing a seatbelt has saved someone from death, those few instances are the exception, not the rule. 40,000 people every year are killed in the US because they were not wearing seatbelts. Don’t become a statistic. Buckle up.

What Happens to You

When you have an auto accident, your car impacts another vehicle (or more than one depending on the situation). Most people assume that’s pretty much the extent of things, but it’s far from the whole story. During an accident, there are two impacts – the first is your car impacting the other vehicle. The second is your body impacting the dashboard, the door or the seat in front of you. To put it in perspective, hitting an immovable object at just 30 miles per hour is the equivalent of falling three stories straight down. Wear a seatbelt and avoid that second impact.

The Faster the Speed, the Greater the Impact

As mentioned, your body reacts to an accident impact at 30 miles per hour in the same way it would if you fell three stories. Now imagine if that impact happened at 45, 50 or 60 miles per hour. Chances of survival (we’re talking whether you live or die, not injuries) are very slim at higher speeds if you are not wearing a seat belt.

Your Reasons Don’t Make Sense

Most people understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt, but they rationalize the act away with reasons that are silly at best and downright wrongheaded at worst. What are the most common reasons not to wear a seatbelt?

It’s Uncomfortable – Chances are good that you’re not wearing the seatbelt correctly if it’s not comfortable. In addition, once you have become used to wearing one, you hardly notice it at all. Most seat belts are also adjustable in different ways, allowing you to get as comfortable as if you weren’t wearing one.

My Clothes Will Wrinkle – If you’re more concerned with the state of your attire than whether you live or die, you might need to rethink your priorities. Having a few wrinkles is a pretty low price to pay in exchange for the chance to walk away from a devastating auto accident.

It’s Just a Short Trip – If you think you’re safe because you’re only driving a couple of miles, think again. Most accidents happen within just a few miles of the house (80% of fatalities occur within 25 miles of the home). Buckle up no matter how far you’re driving.

There is no better way to protect yourself during an accident than just clicking that buckle in place. Your air bag won’t help you (they’re designed to supplement your seatbelt, after all), and no matter how skilled you are at driving, there is always the chance for an accident. Keep yourself and your family safe and always wear your seatbelt.