Can wearing a seat belt save you from dying in a car crash?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Most motor vehicle crashes in Louisiana, and other places across America involve a tremendous amount of force when two or more vehicles collide. This can be true even if the crash is a single-car incident, such as a car hitting a utility pole or a building. 

The driver and their passengers can be jostled, violently thrown around the car’s interior or ejected.

The consequences can be serious injury or death.

Do seat belts prevent such injuries and deaths? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contends that they do, based on data. According to the NHTSA website, “Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives in 2017.” 

Also from the NHTSA website is this statement: “Of the 22,215 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2019, 47% were not wearing seat belts.”

What to know about wearing a seat belt appropriately

Seat belts do keep you securely in your seat in the event of a collision. However, you have to use them correctly. These suggestions from the NHTSA are worth remembering.

  • Pregnant women need to wear seat belts.
  • “The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage…,” the NHTSA recommends.
  • Your lap belt is meant to go over the hips. 
  • Don’t just rely on your airbag to protect you sufficiently. Actually, with no seat belt on, the airbag deploying could possibly harm you.
  • The shoulder belt does not go across the neck. Position it over the chest. 

When you are involved in a crash

Seek medical attention afterward. You may have been hurt and not realize it. A seat belt reduces the likelihood that you will be killed or injured in a crash, but you might still have medical issues from it that should be addressed promptly.