Over the years I have heard many people ask the question this particular question, "Why should I wear my seat belt?" Well, I have and can answer that question very easily, but I am always countered with another question. I am going to see if I can eliminate some of those common questions about why you should wear a seat belt by allowing you to see the benefits of wearing and the risk of not wearing.
In 2005 there were a total of 43,510 fatalities in the United States, and from an early estimation for 2009, posted in March 2010, showed a significant decrease. It is estimated that there were 33,963 fatalities in 2009, which is nearly a 22 percent decrease over a 5 year period. Now, what happened to help reduce this? It is apparent that more people started wearing their seat belt, due to a step up in seatbelt enforcement in most states. So, we can see from these stats that seat belts do save lives.
Here is a question I just love to hear, why should I wear my seat belt it is only effecting me and no one else. Wrong! Think about it this way; if a person has a wreck, is not wearing a seat belt, has no insurance, and does not pay their hospital bill. Who suffers for it? All of us who are responsible people abiding by the rules. How is this possible? Well, when John Doe does not pay for a hospital stay the hospital has to recover its loss somehow, so they charge people with insurance a higher fee. Yes this really does happen, just go see how much a visit would cost you if you were paying with cash compared to paying with insurance, it will always be cheaper. This is one great example why we have laws to tell us to wear our seat belt.
This question is a little more difficult because the fact is it does happen. What if I am trapped in my vehicle by my seat belt and it is under water or on fire? The only answer I can give you on this question is that you are experiencing some really bad luck. The truth of the matter is, that it happens so rarely that the chances of it happening to you is very high. I am not saying it can't happen to you, but that it is very highly unlikely. I, personally, like the odds of the seat belt saving my life versus the seat belt taking my life much better, so you will always see me wearing mine.
I would like to finish up here with a little personal testimony. I have been involved in three different accidents, all of which, I could have been hurt a lot worse or killed if I had not been wearing my seat belt. The first accident happened when I was 20 years old; it was a roll over where I safely walked away with no injuries. The second accident happened when I was 24; I hit a tree and once again I safely walked away with no injuries. The third accident happened when I was 28 years old, and this one was a little more serious. I hydro-planed off the interstate and hit a tree and survived, but I did have multiple broken bones from my knees down. The most important part to the last accident I listed is I survived due to a combination of my seatbelt and air bag. The wreck Reconstruction analyst advised me that I would have most likely been killed if I had not been wearing my seat belt. If not killed then severe injury to my head and upper torso would have been prominent. So, I can safely say that I would not be typing this article today if I had not been wearing my seat belt.
Always remember to buckle up and drive safely, because the person's life you may save could be your own.