Seat belts are straps or belts that secure you in place when driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Since seat belts restrain people during motor vehicle accidents, they can save lives. Find out how many lives are saved each year, some of their safety features, and the correct way to wear them.
How Many Lives Are Saved by Seat Belts Each Year?
Seat belts save thousands of lives each year. The restraints saved close to 15,000 lives in 2016. These numbers continue to increase due to seat belt laws. It’s believed that each law is responsible for saving numerous lives.
Seat Belt Safety Measures
Manufacturers have created different safety features for seat belts. They make them even safer, so they can save more lives. One safety feature is the introduction of the 3-point seat belt in all seating options. Vehicles made before 2007 often had lap belts for rear center seats. Now, people have additional protection.
Belt reminders are another safety feature that you’ll find on most modern vehicles. You will receive a signal to remind you to put on your seat belt. That signal is often enough to prompt you to put on yours on and protect yourself on the road.
Combining seat belts with side airbags is also considered a safety feature. Before side airbags were introduced, manufacturers used automatic seat belts. Now, they connect the lap belt and shoulder belt, and people manually snap them in place.
Correct Way to Wear a Seat Belt
First, everyone in the vehicle should wear seat belts, even if you aren’t going very far. The lap belt should be located below your stomach and across your hips. If it isn’t long enough, use a seat belt extender.
The shoulder belt should be positioned over your collarbone. It needs to cross over your chest and be away from your neck. If you have a new vehicle, you can probably adjust it to ensure you have the perfect fit.
You might notice that some people put the shoulder harness behind their backs or arms. This is a bad idea. It cannot protect you if it’s behind you, so keep it in place.
What if Your Seat Belt Is Stuck?
If your seat belt is stuck, you probably won’t need a seat belt cutter. Instead, you can try to unjam it. Begin by pulling on it to cause the auto-lock function to release. If that doesn’t work, use a screwdriver to remove the plastic covers that house its mechanism. Then, pull out the seat belt, untangle it, and roll it into place. If it still doesn’t work, take it to a mechanic for repair.
Stay Safe by Wearing Seat Belts
Seat belts save lives, so never operate or ride in a vehicle without wearing one. Over time, you’ll get so used to wearing it that you won’t even think of putting it on. Then, you will protect yourself and set a good example for others.
If you are getting ready to hit the road again, make sure you have the car insurance coverage you need. Freeway can help you save up to $839* on your policy, get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.
*Based on a Q1 2020 study of Freeway Insurance customers who reported saving when they switched.