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Myths & Facts About Seat Belt Use

Serving Families Throughout Jacksonville
Crashed car

On average, U.S. drivers and passengers buckle up about 90 percent of the time, which means hundreds of thousands of drivers and vehicle occupants still aren’t buckling up…
Most people understand the lifesaving value of seat belt use, but myths about seat belts persist. At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we’re ready to set the record straight…

MYTH: Wearing a seat belt is a personal decision that doesn’t affect anyone else.
FACT: Not wearing a seat belt can affect your loved ones. It can also affect other motorists since wearing a safety belt can help you avoid losing control of your vehicle in a crash.
MYTH: If I’m only driving a short distance, I don’t need to buckle up.
FACT: The majority of fatal crashes occur close to home and at speeds of less than 40 mph. No matter the distance, it’s always best to buckle up.
MYTH: Seat belts prevent your escape from a burning or submerged vehicle.
FACT: Seat belts can keep you from being knocked unconscious, improving your chances of escape. Incidents involving fire or water account for half of 1% of all crashes. The greatest danger is the impact that precedes the fire or water submersion. If you’re still worried, check out these gadgets that cut seat belts and break windows in the event of fire or car submersion.
MYTH: It’s more important to buckle up in the front seat.
FACT: In a crash, seat belts keep rear-seat passengers from becoming dangerous projectiles, which can increase the risk of injury or death to other occupants—including those buckled up. Unbelted rear seat passengers increase the risk of fatality among belted drivers by 20% compared to belted rear-seat passengers.
MYTH: Seat belts can hurt you in a crash.
FACT: In the event of a crash, just about anything inside your vehicle can hurt you—even seat belts. Properly worn seat belts, however, seldom cause injuries. If they do, it’s usually in the form of a surface bruise, and any resulting injury is far less severe than would have been the case without a seat belt. For the best protection, seat belts should be worn with the lap belt low and tight against the hips or pelvis, not your stomach. The shoulder belt should be snug across your chest, away from your neck. Never place the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.
MYTH: I have an airbag to protect me—that’s good enough.
FACTS: Airbags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. Seat belts keep you in the proper position to benefit from the deployment of an airbag. If you’re not wearing your seat belt, you could slide under the airbag or be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal airbag—a movement of such force could injure or even kill you. 

One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up. Share these facts about seat belt use with family and friends to help keep your loved ones safe.

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