You’re a great driver, right? You feel like you’re in control and wrecks only happen with other drivers who aren’t as great behind the wheel as you are. Don’t most drivers feel this way? We are all a bit egotistical when it comes to how we drive.
So let’s say it’s true. You are always safe, obey every traffic law, are never distracted and never place yourself or others at risk. That’s great, but let’s look at some scenarios that may be out of your control.
- An animal darts in front of you and you react by swerving into another lane where you hit a car.
- You hit a pot hole caused by a recent storm and your tire blows out. You’re going the speed limit, but you lose control and run into a ditch.
- Another driver is not paying attention and misses the stop sign just as you enter the intersection.
- A vehicle swerves into your lane without using a blinker, clips your front bumper sending you into a spin.
- You’re stopped at a light and get hit from behind by another vehicle.
You can probably think of many other situations that may cause a wreck and have probably even been in some close calls. The fact is, every time you get into a vehicle, you are at risk, whether driving across a parking lot or on a long road trip. Things happen which you have no control over and your last defense is a seat belt, which is why it is so important. Here are some facts for you to know:
- The national seat belt use rate is at 87 percent – we can do better. Keep reminding friends.
- In 2012 seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying. From 2008 to 2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.
- If all passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 3,031 lives could have been saved in 2012 alone.
- During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle. Being thrown out of a vehicle is almost always deadly.
- A seat belt does not protect you when it’s not worn properly.
It’s time to bust the myths!
- Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them. In fact, if you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into an opening airbag and be injured or even killed.
- You are not more protected in a larger vehicle without a seat belt.
- Back seat passengers are still at risk. Buckle up no matter what seat you are in.
- Rural drivers may believe their crash risk is lower, but in 2013 there were 13,038 crash fatalities in rural locations, compared to 8,079 crash fatalities in urban locations.
Facts from NHTSA.