What You Should Know About Seat Belt Laws in California 

Driver and passenger safety should be the number 1 priority when using a vehicle. Driving a metal monster capable of high speeds is potentially a lethal piece of machinery. Rules such as wearing seatbelts are there for our protection and should not be compromised. Today’s vehicles are equipped with a plethora of safety features, but seatbelts remain as crucial as ever. Why are seatbelts so important?

Body protection 

It is estimated that in 2017 seatbelts saved 14,955 lives; a sobering statistic indeed! The thought that 14,955 people could now be dead if they had not worn a seatbelt should be motivation enough to wear one every time we are in the car, without fail. Your chances of avoiding serious injury are 45% when wearing a seatbelt.

Seatbelts are designed to protect the most important parts of the body. Injuries to the brain and spinal cord can be catastrophic or fatal. Wearing a seatbelt prevents your head from hitting the dashboard or steering wheel if there is a collision, helping minimize the possibility of brain injury, severe disablement, or death. 

Many injuries are caused by the failure of the body to slow down on impact. Most belts have a locks mechanism if there is a sudden impact; this holds the body in place.  A seatbelt slows the body down more gradually than if you weren’t wearing one. 

If you are injured in an accident in the state of California, an investigation will take place into the circumstances surrounding the crash. If there is found to be comparative negligence, this will considerably reduce any payout you could be awarded. If it is proved that you were not wearing a seatbelt, then you could be considered partially responsible for the injuries you incurred. Based on evidence from the police report, the court will determine how much of your actions contributed to your injuries. Wearing a seatbelt at all times will eliminate this issue if you are involved in a crash, and you could get a full payout if it went to court. 

Keeps you inside 

When a crash occurs, if you’re not buckled up, the force of impact can throw you through the windscreen and outside of the car; this can cause more damage or even death. Seatbelts anchor you to the vehicle, which is much safer than not. You are 25 times more likely to be killed if ejected from your car.

Always make sure you wear your seatbelt appropriately. Never wear seatbelts under your arm or behind your back. Seatbelts are designed specifically for maximum safety. Don’t be fooled into thinking you don’t need a seatbelt if you have airbags; seatbelts are designed to work with airbags, not replace them. In fact, the airbags can do damage if they inflate, and you are not wearing your seatbelt. 

seat belt

You may have heard the popular myth that if you are strapped in, you won’t escape water or fire. The fact is, you are much more likely to be knocked unconscious without a safety belt, so you won’t be able to escape if needed. The safest option is to wear the belt to be able-bodied enough to deal with anything else that happens. 

Protects children and pregnant women 

Pregnant women may feel particularly vulnerable in a car. With an unborn baby to protect, if you’re pregnant, you should be even more safety conscious. Never be tempted to put the seatbelt behind you or not wear it. If you were ejected from the vehicle in the event of a crash, you would not be protected, and the results could be devastating. Wear the belt under your abdomen for comfort. If you are the driver, make sure there is an adequate gap between your belly and the steering wheel. The airbag and seatbelt together will provide the best protection during a collision. 

Children should get extra attention when it comes to car safety. In most countries, specialized car seats are required by law when children are young. Car restraints for kids have to be according to standards set out by the country’s car safety regulatory board. It’s especially important for small children because of their size. A correctly installed car seat can provide life-saving benefits for children. According to statistics, they reduce the risk of serious injury by 71%.

Driving is an essential commodity in our world today. Along with it comes the danger of getting into an accident. But we can minimize the risks involved by following rules made for our safety. Protect yourself and the ones you love by always wearing a seatbelt. 

Source: Upscale Living Magazine

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