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Be safe, be buckled
2008-08-20

Safety belt statistics • One out of every five drivers will be involved in a traffic crash this year.  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people age 44 and younger and the number one cause of head and spinal cord injury.  • Approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. About 50 percent (17,000) of these people could be saved if they wore their safety belts. • For every one percent increase in safety belt use, 172 lives and close to $100 million in annual injury and death costs could be saved. • Safety belts when used properly reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent. • For maximum protection safety belts should be fastened before traveling any distance or speed. Seventy-five percent of crash deaths and injuries occur within 25 miles of home. More than half of all injury-producing motor vehicle crashes involve low speeds under 40m.p.h. • Motorists are 25 times are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when they are "thrown clear" than when remain inside their vehicle. • In a 30m.p.h. collision an unbelted 160 lb. Person can strike another passenger, crash through a windshield and/or slam into the vehicle's interior with a 4,800 lb. force. • Safety belt use is one of the best defenses against the unpredictable actions of the drunk driver. • Today over 25 countries around the world have some type of mandatory safety belt law. Results of these laws were measured; usage rate went from 20-25 percent before passage to 60-90 percent after passage. • A common cause of death and injury to children in motor vehicles is being crushed by adults who are not wearing safety belts. On out of four serious injuries to passengers is caused by occupants being thrown into each other. • About 80 percent of all injuries to children in car crashes are injuries to the head, causing brain damage, permanent disfigurement, epilepsy or death. • Of every 100 children who die in motor vehicle crashes at least 80 would survive if they were properly secured in an approved child safety seat or safety belts. • Three out of four families with child safety seats fail to use them correctly. Adults need to follow manufacturer's instructions and secure seats properly before every trip. The Spanish Government's General Traffic Directorate (DGT) has been insisting for many years on that using the safety belt on the road can save lives. They did a research and the research show using the safety belt in the rear seats of the car reduces death risk by a 44 per cent. All driving can be dangerous. You need safety belts whenever driving. More than 80 per cent of all accidents occur at speeds less than 40 mph. Fatalities involving non-belted occupants of cars have been recorded at as low as 12 mph. That's about the speed you'd be driving in a parking lot. Three out of four accidents causing death occur within 25 miles of home. Belt up before driving to your shopping center - just as you would for a long trip. When you have your lap belt fastened, please fasten your shoulder belt too. It's true that a lap belt will protect you from serious injury. But a shoulder belt provides important additional protection. During a crash, a shoulder belt keeps your head and chest from striking the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. A lap and shoulder belt offers you the best possible protection in the event of a crash.  In almost any collision, you're better off being held inside the car by safety belts. The fact is that your chances of being killed are almost 25 times greater if you're thrown from the car. The forces in a collision can be great enough to fling you as much as 150 feet --about 15 car lengths. Safety belts can keep you from: • plunging through the windshield • being thrown out the door and hurtled through the air • scraping along the ground • being crushed by your own car Don’t worry about it will takes too much time and trouble to fasten your safety belt , in reality, fastening your safety belt may take some time and trouble -- but not too much. That much time and trouble you can live with -- if you want to live. Moreover, modern safety belts can be made so comfortable that you may wonder if they really work. Most of them give when you move - a device locks them in place only when the car stops suddenly. You can put a little bit of slack in most belts simply by pulling on the shoulder strap. Others come with comfort clips, which hold the belt in a slightly slackened position. If the belt won't fit around you, you can get a belt extender at most car dealerships. A fairy may live forever, but you won't. So do all you can to live longer. Forget the fairy tales and buckle up.

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